3D organ holograms bring out-of-body experience for surgeons


An Israeli firm has developed 3D holographic imaging technology that allows doctors to see a patient's anatomy "floating" in mid-air during real time medical procedures. The company says successful trials of its system demonstrate that science fiction has become science fact.

To properly illustrate ts three dimensional, holographic technologyRealview Imaging has produced a video demonstrating what it says an observer would see in an operating theatre.

The company says the technology gives surgeons an unprecedented look at their patient's anatomy as they're operating. Doctor Elchanan Bruckheimer helped develop it.

"Doctors deal with patients. Patients are built of tissues and things that move. If we want to intervene and treat those things, looking at them as they actually are in real life, in real time, is definitely going to improve the way we perform our procedures, how successful we are in those procedures and the time it takes to do those procedures," Bruckheimer said.

The system combines two technologies. Realview's co-founder Shaul Gelman says it begins with data from X-ray, MRI or ultrasound imaging, reproduced as a 3D hologram.

And for doctors like Einat Birk, that makes a difference.

"Instead of having two dimensional cuts through the heart we are able to see the heart floating in front of us, we are able to cut through it, to touch it, to see the interaction between the device and the tissue around it. And it was really a wonderful, enlightening experience that we're never exposed to," Birk said. 

RealView says it plans to launch its medical imaging system commerically in 2015.



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