Dr. Ruben De Groote, with the support of engineers Jente Simoens and Jasper Hofman from Orsi, successfully treated a kidney cancer patient by removing their tumor using the Intuitive DaVinci robot and augmented reality (AR).
The surgeon was able to better interact with the patient’s vascular and tissue structures during the preoperative CT scan due to a real-time, AI-assisted instrument detection overlay. This technology allowed for a clear view of the tissues and vessels, preventing any obstructions from the overlay.
NVIDIA Holoscan was used for the first time in an in-human robot-assisted surgery in the operating room. Its purpose was to provide unprecedented accuracy, precision, and control during these procedures.
– Real-time detection of up to 37 diverse non-organic structures can be undertaken without any instrument blocked by a 3D model during the process.
– Low-latency patient-specific Augmented Reality (AR) technology can overlay preoperative CT scan images, providing an efficient way of viewing vital medical information with minimal delay.
– During a robot-assisted partial nephrectomy—a surgery to remove part of the kidney—real-time 3D images are rendered for further assistance.
Dr. Pieter De Backer, our Surgical AI Lead, has been exploring the capabilities of augmented reality and artificial intelligence regarding surgery. His team has undertaken this challenge in collaboration with NVIDIA and Deltacast.
NVIDIA and Deltacast provide dedicated hardware and software, which integrates with Orsi’s datasets, AI networks, and in-house knowledge and has had a tremendous multi-faceted impact. Powered by such an amazing collective effort, robotic surgery can push boundaries.
Orsi Academy had previously developed a solution for detecting offline instruments during surgery; however, the high latency associated with the approach made it unsuitable for employing in real-time scenarios and thus hindered its utility to surgeons.
Dr. De Backer says:
“While important challenges still lie ahead, we now know that computational resources are no longer the crucial bottleneck in the process. We are entering an exciting time for surgery!”
Dr. De Groote expressed his enthusiasm regarding augmented reality being ready for clinical practice, thanks to Orsi managing to minimize latency. He lauded this breakthrough as an optimal assessment tool to guide surgeons through difficult surgical procedures.
Navigation tools can achieve higher precision, discovering undetected vulnerable anatomy, which is an important boon for surgeons.
Previous research conducted by the ORSI Innovation Team on this subject has explored ways to improve Augmented Reality (AR) technology through deep learning. Specifically, the team focused on developing real-time instrument delineation for robotic renal surgery.
This study yielded valuable findings and was made accessible to the public in an open-access publication. Their work provides insight into how artificial intelligence can enhance AR capabilities in a medical setting, potentially leading to improved surgical outcomes and patient safety.
The Orsi Academy’s program is an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals and students to gain practical experience in AI technology. With the increasing importance of AI in healthcare, this program is a valuable investment for those looking to stay ahead of the curve and make a meaningful impact in the field.