NuVasive has launched the LessRay software technology system commercially. Comprised of a propriety software algorithm and hardware components, it is designed to help address overexposure to radiation during operations.
Spine and orthopaedic surgeons can receive their lifetime occupational radiation limit within the first 10 years of their career. As a result, cancer rates and contraction of cataracts associated with radiation exposure are nearly double that of other surgery practices. Looking to improve safety for physicians, many companies are looking for ways to meet reduce radiation exposure.
LessRay’s image enhancement technology is designed to improve low-dose, low-radiation fluoroscopy (or X-ray) images to have similar diagnostic capabilities as conventional full-dose fluoroscopy images, thereby reducing radiation emission and exposure in the operating room while retaining the high resolution of a full radiation dose shot. Additionally, LessRay has other features to help reduce the number of fluoroscopic shots needed.
“LessRay’s ability to reduce radiation usage is so compelling because it benefits not only the surgeon but also the patient and everyone in the operating room,” says Stephen Ryu, neurosurgeon at Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto, USA. “LessRay’s additional features that augment the capability of conventional fluoroscopy provide really useful tools for even the simplest surgeries. LessRay’s capability to assist accurate localisation of spine levels alone is worth it.”
The system also uses the following features:
- C-arm tracking: Simplifies localisation and target anatomy quickly, accurately and without unnecessary fluoroscopy time and scouting images.
- Image stitching: Minimises surgical workflow interruption by quickly stitching together fluoroscopic images of any spine segment.
- Angle finder: Minimises operating room steps required to obtain crisp endplate shots with fewer fluoroscopic images than traditional C-arm scouting.
- Alternate view: Improves visualisation by making metal instruments invisible or semi-transparent by fading out their obstruction.
Results of a recent prospective study conducted with patients randomised to which surgical intervals were performed with standard-dose fluoroscopy or fluoroscopy using LessRay, which measurement of radiation emission and exposure showed that radiation exposure of healthcare professionals in the operating room was between 62% and 84% lower in the LessRay group compared to the conventional fluoroscopy group.
NuVasive acquired the LessRay propriety software algorithm and technology system in September 2016, and has since adapted its design. The company completed alpha and beta testing in more than a dozen hospitals where spine surgery is performed, and incorporated trial feedback from surgeons and hospital staff. LessRay units will be sold as a capital sale or lease purchase, with a focus on selling into operating rooms dedicated to spine surgery first, and then proliferating the technology across additional areas of the hospital where this technology could also prove useful.