“Geometric information could be extracted from just one or two X-ray images of the patient,” this is what health informatics expert Ali Uneri, a graduate student in the department of computer science in the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, and the rest of the research team have discovered recently, which led them to develop a breakthrough in surgical guidance system.
Health informatics researcher Dr. Jeffrey Siewerdsen, a professor of biomedical engineering in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement which came with the report that guidance through imaging during surgery allows for improved assurance of the patient’s safety and increased precision during the surgical procedure. The report was published in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology.
Siewerdsen and the rest of the health informatics research team utilized a piece of equipment which is readily present in the operating room, the C-arm. The researchers believe that two-dimensional and three-dimensional X-ray images can be used to match a fast and accurate algorithm that will allow the device to operate automatically and be able to catch up with the surgical procedure all throughout.
According to Ulneri, they were able to achieve better accuracy at 3 millimeters utilizing a single frame. The team also claimed that the technology was able to provide more accurate surgical guidance than the usual tracking device.
Through this recent innovative imaging breakthrough, health informatics researchers from John Hopkins believe that they have opened the doors for increased accuracy during minimally invasive surgery. The team says that the initial testing of the specialized equipment running on a devised algorithm have shown that their recently developed image-based guidance system may be superior to the currently being used conventional tracking devices in the operating room.
The usual guidance system currently available in the surgical setting involves the manual matching of CT images taken pre-operative to the patient’s body. This is the initial process called registration. This is said to enable the computer to orient the image of the patient in relation to the area of the operating room.
Currently, the research team exerts their effort in the further development of the new technology to be suitable for clinical use. Although the system can be used in a wide variety of clinical applications, it is expected to be more utilized in the field of minimally invasive surgery, Siewerdsen says.