Nomad personal display system aids surgeons in knee reconstruction

MARCH 11--Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, The Western Pennsylvania Hospital, and CASurgica Inc. have demonstrated the advantages of an augmented vision system featuring the Nomad personal display from Microvision (Bothell, WA) that aids in repair of the anterior cruciate ligament.

Mar 11th, 2002

MARCH 11--Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), The Western Pennsylvania Hospital, and CASurgica Inc. have demonstrated the advantages of an augmented vision system featuring the Nomad personal display from Microvision (Bothell, WA; to aid surgeons in knee reconstruction, especially for the repair of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The group demonstrated the results of a feasibility study conducted in Pittsburgh, PA, at a scientific exhibit during the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons convention.

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a novel surgical tool that combines the CMU KneeNav-ACL system--an intuitive and flexible image-guided surgical navigation system for ACL reconstruction--with Microvision's Nomad personal display. The Nomad enables surgeons to view real-time videoscopic images combined with computer-generated anatomic and guidance images overlaid directly into the surgical view to create an effect referred to as "augmented reality".

"Surgeons that saw this exhibit were excited about the potential of performing this procedure while viewing navigation information overlaid directly on the knee," stated David Ormerod, Microvision's medical marketing manager. "Reconstruction of the ACL is one of the most common procedures performed in the area of sports medicine today. Along with other knee procedures, millions of patients are being treated annually in the USA alone. The Nomad system has the potential to provide many surgeons with a completely new visual interface that can improve upon current orthopedic procedures."

Surgeons wearing the lightweight, see-through Nomad display integrated into the surgical navigation system realize a distinct advantage in that the surgeon can make the most effective use of the real-time guidance information without distraction from the point of task. Several computer-assisted navigation systems have been developed attempting to address efficacy and precision in graft placement. However, these systems introduce additional displays and complex user interfaces into the surgical environment.

Based on Microvision's patented retinal scanning technology, the recently introduced display system is a high-resolution head-worn display that presents images and information to the user in a see-through or "head-up" mode. The Nomad system provides new forms of visualization that will prove to be a central part of computer-assisted surgical suites and medical environments in the future. These techniques will involve new display modalities coupled to both existing and new techniques for scene registration, image acquisition and enhancement in order to support analysis and decisions at the point of care.

The Nomad system features full daylight-readability, allowing medical personnel to view high-contrast images in even the most challenging ambient lighting conditions. High quality, Super VGA resolution makes the Nomad immediately compatible with a broad range of existing medical applications and content.

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