Using two-dimensional X-rays in a 3D surgery setting has always been unwieldy. But, in the future, GE Healthcare hopes to make visualizing them a bit easier.
The company has begun working with MediView to help surgeons see patients’ anatomies more as they are with the help of augmented reality goggles. The upcoming OmnifyXR system is being designed to provide holographic 3D images and also a heads-up display of interventional X-ray imaging using Microsoft’s HoloLens hardware.
The goal is to offer views of 3D anatomy in a more ergonomic position and with a line of sight that’s better aligned with the patient, instead of having clinicians repeatedly turn to face different physical monitors during a procedure. At the same time, OmnifyXR’s connectivity will allow others to collaborate remotely via a surgeon’s-eye view.
“Augmented reality in imaging is key to improved visualization of anatomy and enhanced user experience,” GE’s global surgical intervention general manager, Arnaud Marie, said in a press release, adding that the collaboration will link GE’s image-guided therapy systems to the headsets through an open software architecture. That will also allow other complementary technologies to be connected to the surgeon’s work.
MediView previously worked with GE Healthcare and Microsoft on AR headset technology for ultrasound exams, giving clinicians a virtual monitor that can be placed anywhere within their field of vision during a scan. It was employed earlier this year at the University of Findlay as part of its sonography training program.
For the OmnifyXR Interventional Suite, GE Healthcare and MediView said they plan to co-market the system, with an initial rollout slated for the U.S. and globally thereafter. According to the companies, the program does not need clearance from the FDA but may require a CE mark approval before being launched in Europe.
This week also saw GE Healthcare take a step closer to fulfilling its plan to become an independent $18 billion medtech company. GE’s board of directors approved the spinoff and set a launch date of Jan. 4.
At that point, the company will be renamed GE HealthCare, retaining its long-time brand and logo, and begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker "GEHC." Its progenitor will continue to trade separately on the NYSE.