Surgical Theater Unveils Medical Virtual Reality Visualization at NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference

Changing the Game, UCLA Neurosurgeon Demonstrates VR Visualization Brain Surgery and Introduces VR-Empowered Patient

SAN JOSE, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 5, 2016 — Surgical Theater, a world leader in medical virtual reality, will present its first-of-its kind virtual reality surgical visualization platform for neurosurgery at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC 2016), on April 6 in Silicon Valley.

“We are pleased to participate in GTC, which is now signaling the future of how technological advancements will shift the way we operate in healthcare,” said Jim Breidenstein, President and COO of Surgical Theater, SNAP Division.

The enterprise-wide VR medical visualization solution supports all elements of patient care from the exam room to the operating room by way of Surgical Theater’s immersive VR-based system. Surgical Theater’s innovative technology enables today’s and tomorrow’s physicians to plan, prepare and perform brain surgery while actively empowering and engaging their patients along the journey.

Joining the conversations about how NVIDIA GPUs are driving the future in the visual and immersive worlds of gaming, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars and now brain surgery, Dr. Neil Martin, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at UCLA, will slip on the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and delve into his experiences using VR in the session, “Lessons Learned from VR Navigation in Neurosurgery at UCLA,” on Wednesday, April 6. Alon Geri, co-founder and EVP Engineering of Surgical Theater, and expert in jet flight simulation for the Israeli Military, will join him.

Neurosurgeons, like pilots, can now “fly through” their patients’ anatomy and perform complex operations in virtual reality before making the first incision. This technology is game changing for neurosurgeons because no brain is the same, especially when facing neurological disorders and cerebrovascular diseases.

Surgical Theater combines leading-edge jet flight simulation technology with the patient’s own anatomy scans, using medical imaging such as MRI and CT, to create a VR reconstruction of the individual patient anatomy that allows for multiple levels of interaction and immersion from swiping fingers across a touch screen to donning a VR headset.

“Surgical Theater provides an immersive and memorable situational awareness when navigating through the inner space of the patient’s brain,” Dr. Martin said. He uses this technology in pre-operative planning, patient consultations and intra-operatively in the operating room at UCLA.

“Flying through the patient’s brain and having the ability to circumnavigate the tumor to see how the surrounding tissue, arteries or the optic nerve could be connected is critical to planning the removal procedure,” Dr. Martin said. “It stays with you. So the terrain of the patient’s brain is familiar in surgery, which can enhance performance, reduce risk, and improve the overall outcome and timing of the surgery.”

The hospitals using the Surgical Theater technology are destination centers of excellence in the field of neurosurgery. The educated, tech-savvy patient is demanding the very best care with the latest technological advancements in the field of medicine.

When wearing the VR headset, a VR-empowered patient can tour and walk into the space between vascular structures and can literally stand between arteries and the tumor. For example, when the patient will turn his head to the right, he will see the tumor; to the left, he will see the artery; looking down toward feet his feet, he will see the skull base. Furthermore, the VR-empowered patient can physically walk together with the surgeon down a planned surgical path or minimally invasive corridor to obtain an understanding of the safety and benefits of less invasive surgical approaches.

The conventional method used in patient consultations entails seeing the 2D, flat black-and-white images used in most medical institutions, which is a stark contrast to the Surgical Theater VR platform.

Studies have evidenced that well-informed and educated patients are more likely to have favorable outcomes.

“Communication between health care providers, patients and their families results in better patient care and shorter hospital stays,” according to a review of previously published research examining the impact of interventions to improve communication for those with advanced or serious illness, by Johns Hopkins Evidence Based Practice Center funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Nov. 2012.

NVIDIA pioneered the GPU (the graphics processing unit), the visual cortex of the computer that drives high-performance graphics in immersive environments. The GPU boosts rendering medical images from 2D to VR reconstruction that enables the neurosurgeon to fly smoothly and dynamically through patient’s brain anatomy in real time.

Surgical Theater enterprise-wide software is being used at some of the top academic hospitals, including UCLA, Stanford University, New York University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, and Mount Sinai.

About Surgical Theater

Surgical Theater is committed to providing virtual reality based healthcare services that bring enterprise-wide value to its partners. Surgical Theater integrates cutting-edge fighter jet flight simulation skill sets to redefine medical imaging and visualization capabilities that empower both patients and physicians throughout the treatment continuum. Surgical Theater’s innovative imaging platform combines & enhances multiple imaging modalities to create a comprehensive, virtual reconstruction for various levels of interaction and immersion facilitating a virtual tour inside the patients' own anatomy.

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