Newswise — Boston, Mass. – A team of orthopedic surgeons at New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) performed the first-ever augmented reality (AR)-guided total hip replacement at a hospital. NEBH’s Stephen B. Murphy, MD, who invented the system, performed the hip replacement with NEBH colleagues, Daniel M. Ward, MD, and Carl T. Talmo, MD. The system, which received FDA clearance in January, is the first intraoperative AR guidance platform for joint replacement to display 3D models of the patient’s anatomy, implants, and instruments inside the body in real time.
"Surgeons traditionally plan hip replacements with two-dimensional Xrays; and then in surgery rely on data shown on screens outside of the surgical field,” said Murphy. "Augmented reality guidance allows surgeons to stay focused on the patient, projecting holograms on AR glasses that effectively give them 'X-ray vision’ into the patient’s body. This allows surgeons to see what they need to see, when they need to see it, in the exact sequence of the surgery itself."
The AR-guided system is the first FDA-cleared surgical platform for joints to be contained entirely within a head-mounted device. Unlike robotic and traditional navigation systems, there aren’t any large external workstations, cameras or screens. The small footprint of the AR system means it can be easily deployed across operating rooms, promoting greater surgical team efficiency and cost savings to hospitals.
“This is the first joint replacement technology using augmented reality to project patient-specific content inside the patient’s body,” said David Mattingly, MD, Clinical Chair of Orthopedics and Surgeon in Chief at NEBH. “Misplaced acetabular components are one of the leading causes of dislocations and revision surgery, however the AR software enables surgeons to place the acetabular component in the proper orientation according to each individual's anatomy. This is a major step forward in terms of how surgery can be performed, and we look forward to offering this to our patients far and wide.”
Minimally-invasive surgical approaches, like those used at NEBH, have dramatically improved patient outcomes and reduced the length of hospital stays. However, the smaller incisions associated with these approaches have made it more difficult for the entire surgical team to see inside the exposure. By projecting patient-specific holograms on the patient’s body, surgeons no longer have to depend on images on external screens, visualize the patient’s anatomy in their mind’s eye, or navigate via touch.
“As a national leader in orthopedics and musculoskeletal care, we are thrilled to bring this cutting-edge AR technology into our hospital, adding to our existing arsenal of world-class equipment that enables us to deliver the best care to our patients,” said David Passafaro, President of NEBH. “Augmented reality is a powerful tool capable of transforming the future of surgery while also serving as an effective teaching tool. We will continue to invest in training our orthopedic surgeons to use the most innovative techniques and technology available for our patients.”
About New England Baptist Hospital
New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) is the premier regional provider for orthopedic surgery and the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. NEBH has been nationally recognized for high patient satisfaction and leadership in quality and clinical outcomes. NEBH is a teaching affiliate of Tufts University School of Medicine and conducts teaching programs in collaboration with Harvard Medical School. NEBH has been the official hospital of the Boston Celtics for over 30 years. New England Baptist Hospital is part of Beth Israel Lahey Health (www.bilh.org), a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.