New world. Scalpel and mixed reality: here is the “augmented” surgery


Manipulation of a virtual bone during operation
Handling of a virtual bone during surgery (MICROSOFT)

Fifteen orthopedic surgeons in 13 countries are scheduled to perform surgeries on Tuesday, February 9, using mixed reality glasses. Concretely, they will not only have their scalpels in hand but they will also wear a Microsoft Hololens helmet.

The mixed reality headset allows you to view images projected on a kind of transparent visor, much like head-up displays in cars. This event, broadcast online from recorded transactions, aims to promote this Microsoft tool in a medical setting.

The event is piloted by Professor Thomas Grégory, from the Avicenne AP-HP hospital, and from the Sorbonne Paris Nord University, who performed, 3 years ago, the first surgery with an augmented reality headset and which now uses this technology regularly.

According to Microsoft, mixed reality allows surgeons to access all kinds of data during surgery, including 3D models of their patients’ organs. The images are superimposed, much like holograms, which allows a surgeon to see in digital images what he cannot see in real life, like an organ hidden behind a bone.

The HoloLens 2 glasses represent an improvement over the first version. They are lighter, more comfortable, and wireless. They are controlled with gestures and by voice. A camera in the front allows the surgeon to share his field of vision with colleagues who are, for example, in other countries, for help.

The operations planned during these two days are orthopedic operations (shoulder, knee, spine), but the technology can, of course, be used for any type of surgical intervention.


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