By Payal Rathod, editor, Transparency Market Research.
TMR’s study expects neurological navigation systems to emerge as leaders in the realm of surgical navigation systems due to high prevalence of brain tumors. According to the National Brain Tumor Society, approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. are living with brain tumor. This number further incites the need for advanced neurological navigation systems.
Navigating within the precincts of a skull multiplies the risk of damage to the vertebral column. However, advanced neuronavigation devices such as the one developed by Medtronic addresses these concerns. This device, called the StealthStation S8, is a highly efficient system that uses electromagnetic tracking capabilities and 3-D segmentation tools to create tumor models.
Influx of 3-D printing technology in the healthcare sector
Operating on tumor models prepares the doctors to operate the actual tumor. It instills confidence in the surgeons that further amplifies the success rate of the surgery. Furthering the use of 3-D segmentation tools, the researchers have invented advanced 3-D printing technologies that are changing the game for surgical navigation.
Researchers from the Tel Aviv University printed the first 3-D heart using the patient’s biological parts and cells. The end stage heart disease can only be treated with heart transplantation. However, the shortage of heart donors stems the need for advancements in the armamentarium of cardiology.
This research has not only given a new direction to regenerative medicines but heightened the demand for 3-D printing technologies. According to TMR’s study, this trend is expected to turn the tides in the surgical navigation systems industry.
Intra-surgical visualization is imperative while performing a surgery. 3-D printing technology transforms a 3-D medical image into an object of the patient’s actual size. A combination of this model and augmented reality (AR) applications offers the surgeons a real-life operating experience in a virtual environment.
This technology helps the surgeons gain a better understanding of the nature of the surgery. It overcomes the shortcomings of single modality imaging and facilitates accurate intra-surgical visualization. Besides, the combination of cloud computing and 3-D printing technology further explores the possibilities in the realm of surgical navigation. It enables the development of prosthetic limbs and streamlines the 3-D printing process. This explains why the clinicians are keen on deploying the cloud computing technology.
Migration of surgical platforms to cloud computing
Cloud computing, though this technology is still young in the medical industry, it is graduating in the arena of surgical navigation. It facilitates the high computational power required for surgical navigation. Moreover, the advancements in the medical image computing techniques such as the graphics processing unit (GPU) facilitate improved medical image processing performance.
Recently, bioengineers developed a self-navigating medical robot that can navigate in the patient’s heart. Earlier, surgeons used a joystick to monitor tiny robots in the patient’s body. However, this newly developed robot works exactly like an autonomous vehicle. The optical sensor in the robot uses artificial intelligence algorithms that direct its path inside the heart.
Such discoveries have highly motivated the surgical platforms to deploy cloud computing solutions. The fact that it breaks the restrictions of physical location has also inundated its use. A cloud surgical planning application enables multiple surgeons to work on the same case irrespective of where they are located. This enables the surgeons to make accurate incisions, thus facilitating a pain-free treatment for the patients.
The spiraling need for minimally invasive surgeries help the surgical navigation systems gain prominence in the market, states TMR. To sum it all up, surgical navigation gives healthcare professionals the liberty to navigate surgical equipment with tremendous ease. Moreover, the high morbidity because of cancer with nearly 9.6 million people dying in 2018 has necessitated the use of advanced surgical techniques. This has opened the doors for new clinical studies relating to surgical navigation such as molecular imaging and intraoperative microscopy.