Philips announces ClarifEye augmented reality surgical navigation for minimally-invasive spine procedures


Royal Philips has introduced ClarifEye augmented reality (AR) surgical navigation, a solution to advance minimally-invasive spine procedures in the hybrid operating room.

Philips claims in a company press release that by combining superb 2D and 3D visualisations at low X-ray dose with 3D AR, the solution provides live intra-operative visual feedback to support accurate placement of pedicle screws during spinal fusion procedures. The company claims the solution is fully integrated into the Philips Azurion image-guided therapy platform, supporting efficient workflow with intra-procedural navigation and verification for accurate screw placement and reducing the need for post-operative computed tomography (CT) scans.

According to Philips, by taking a minimally-invasive approach to spine surgery, patients can benefit from reduced postoperative pain, shortened hospital stays, reduced blood loss, and minimised soft tissue damage and scar tissue. The company additionally comments that the intra-operative image guidance provided by solutions such as ClarifEye increases clinical accuracy, with patients subject to fewer revision surgeries compared to the current standard of care.

“In spine surgery, when you change your approach to a minimally invasive one, you also have to change the way you operate because you need another way to see inside the spine,” said Pietro Scarone, neurosurgeon at Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale in Lugano, Switzerland. “With ClarifEye, the technology adapts to the needs of the surgeon, rather than the surgeon adapting to the requirements of the technology.”

“Augmented reality surgical navigation helps us to place pedicle screws in positions where we actually could not or would not do otherwise,” said Adria Elmi-Terander, neurosurgeon in the department of Neurosurgery at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

Philips reports the ClarifEye uses four high-resolution optical cameras to augment the surgical field with 3D cone-beam CT imaging, without the need for additional X-ray. Additionally the company states the system combines the view of the surgical field with the internal 3D view of the patient to construct a 3D augmented-reality view of the patient’s external and internal anatomy. Philips states that consistent tracking of the patient is ensured by video tracking of non-invasive markers placed on the skin. Additionally, the system then visualises the tip of the ClarifEye Needle as it is navigated along the planned path in the spine.

“Post-operative CT scans to check implant placements are no longer necessary,” said Andreas Seekamp, director of the Orthopaedic and Emergency Surgery clinic at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany. “As soon as surgery has been performed, we can be 100% sure that the implants are in place, thanks to the high quality of the intra-operative cone beam CT image and positioning flexibility of the system.”



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