ImmersiveTouch, a Chicago-based company, announced the launch of ImmersiveView, the only suite of integrated virtual reality real-time solutions for personalised surgical planning, patient engagement, and surgical training using patented haptic technology. ImmersiveView was launched at the North American Spine Society 2018 meeting (NASS; 26–29 September, Los Angeles, USA).
According to a company press release, ImmersiveView is designed to optimise outcomes and save costs, decreasing time in the operating room and improving pre-operative planning and patient satisfaction.
The ImmersiveView suite transforms existing patient computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images into accurate, fully realised, high-resolution virtual reality models that the physician can manipulate and explore from any angle. ImmersiveTouch claim that this enables a level of interaction not previously possible.
Advances in imaging in the last 15 years have led to three-dimensional recreations of anatomy, but they could be viewed on a two dimensional display, limiting the availability to fully interact with the model and assess the patient’s anatomy with full accuracy. ImmersiveView provides 3D visualisation of medical imaging in a virtual reality 3D display.
“Even though we could see patient anatomy in 3D, we could never interact with it because it was trapped in a 2D surface. ImmersiveView allows us to cross that glass barrier to the other side, into a different universe where we can immerse ourselves and interact with the anatomy from all angles using depth perception and even haptics to understand how it feels,” says Pravin K Patel, chief of paediatric plastic and craniofacial surgery at the University of Illinois Health and Medical Science Center, and Chicago Shriners Hospitals for Children (Chicago, USA). “It helps our patients and family better understand what the surgeon sees and makes it real for them.”
ImmersiveView is highly intuitive, allowing the physician to grab, turn, expand and explore the VR model of the patient to evaluate procedural options and plan the surgery, Immersive Touch state. The left- or right-handed user can use one button to: measure; draw; cut; overlay and move a 2D scan of the patient anywhere in the image; better visualise specific parts of the anatomy by enabling transparency of tissues, such as bones, organs or blood vessels; and take a picture and save it to the computer for future reference.
ImmersiveView is also designed to better help patients understand a procedure, allowing them to ask more informed questions of the surgeon pre-operatively.
Another suite offering provides realistic virtual reality surgical simulation using patented tactile (haptic) feedback. Surgical residents can familiarise themselves with the exact size, feel, and internal workings of typical patients for specific surgeries and train as many times as needed to feel comfortable. The training system is fully customisable to all devices.
ImmersiveView is HIPAA-compliant, portable and fully compatible with all Patient Archiving and Communication (PAC) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) systems. It can be used with any VR headset and system. Teams can participate in surgical planning by viewing the image the user is experiencing in VR on a display screen in person or via video conference. According to ImmersiveTouch, the ImmersiveView suite is more cost-effective and efficient than 3D printing, and has replaced the service at some institutions.