As the transition from open surgery to minimally-invasive interventions continues, more and more procedures are being carried out using this approach. One consequence is that increasingly complex interventions can take place in a minimally-invasive way. However, this also has a downside; longer procedure times, intense training programs, higher radiation exposure and an increased usage of contrast agent. All of which brings potential health risks to patients, physicians and staff.
X-ray is considered the ‘gold standard’ for the imaging used to guide physicians during such interventions, because of its ability to visualize devices, in real-time, within the anatomy. Yet navigation within complex anatomies remains a challenge, even when the 2D X-ray device visualization is combined with 3D anatomical information as an overlay.
As clinicians continue to expand their practice and strive for better and more effective ways to treat patients, there is a growing need for them to see devices in 3D, in real time, and in relation to the anatomy. At the same time, they want to reduce exposure to radiation for themselves, their staff and their patients.
At Philips, we have already made progress in tackling this visualization and radiation reduction need. Building on this experience – and after extensive dialogue with medical professionals on the frontline of this specialized area of healthcare – we concluded that something completely new was required. Not incremental innovation, but rather a breakthrough technology. One that opens up new possibilities in carrying out minimally-invasive procedures, standard or complex, through intuitive device and anatomy visualization in a radiation-free environment.