Using Google Glass and Math during surgery

3D reconstruction of a coronary artery used to guide the surgeon through the surgery. Credit: Maksymilian P. Opolski et al./Canadian Journal of Cardiology

A team of cardiologists at the Institute of Cardiology in Warsaw, Poland, have reported on using Google Glass to help in a surgical procedure to remove a coronary block affecting a 49 years old male patient.

Often this kind of surgery is tricky. The surgical procedure requires a catheter to be inserted percutaneous and it can be visualised through a CTA, Coronary computed tomography angiography as it progresses towards the blocked coronary. This visualisation is technically complex and difficult to interpret in the 3D spacial relation by the surgeon. In case of total blockage you don't have the guiding wire upon which the catheter moves following the coronary since it gets stuck at the blockage and the surgeon has to decide which way it should go. 

By using Google Glass with a visualisation software developed by the Center for Mathematical and Computational Modelling of the University of Warsaw the surgeon could see in 3D the position of the wire-guide with respect to the coronary and perform the procedure in complete safety (the risk, obviously, is to push the wire in the wrong direction causing the rupturing of the coronary, a fatal mistake).

One can see the convergence of several technologies ending up in providing an easy to understand representation, in real time, of the operating field.

According to the surgeons team wearables will become a common presence in surgery. 

Author - Roberto Saracco

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