Mixed reality can be used as an educational tool and surgical assistant to orthopedic surgeons performing shoulder arthroplasty, according to a presenter at the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Specialty Day Meeting.
In his presentation, George S. Athwal, MD, FRCSC, noted mixed reality anchors virtual objects into the real world, allowing users to interact with the objects. It also allows surgeons to have access to patient history, physical examination, X-rays, CT scans and the technique manual of the implant throughout the operation, according to Athwal.
He added surgeons who do not have a lot of experience with a certain procedure or implant can invite another surgeon to be a surgical mentor and guide them through the operation remotely. As a virtual hologram projected above the patient, Athwal noted surgical mentors can watch the surgeon perform the operation and provide feedback with the use of virtual arrows anchored in the space.
“If I do not know what the next instruments is, … I can look at my rep or a surgeon that has a lot of experience with it and they say the one you need is right here,” Athwal said. “This arrow will be a hologram, which will be anchored in space, and everyone will be able to see it in that same location.”
In addition to being a digital and surgical assistant, Athwal noted mixed reality can be a powerful tool for education, clinical assessment and navigation.