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German surgeon completes liver operation with help from iPad

updated 02:47 am EDT, Thu August 22, 2013

Augmented-reality app helped doctors avoid complications

While the iPad is well known to be a versatile tool, rarely has it been used to help doctors complete a surgery more efficiently and with a lower chance of complications, but that is what happened in Bremen, Germany -- with the surgeons using an augmented-reality application and the iPad's camera (along with some pre-existing scans) to complete a liver operation. In the operation, a picture of the patient's liver was taken using the iPad's camera, then supplemented with the information from the 3D scans using a custom app.

Ahead of the operation, doctors created a 3D map of the patient's liver using conventional medical imaging technology. This information was then combined with a photo of the organ taken during the early stages of the operation by the surgeon, using the iPad's camera (caution: graphic images). The photo was combined with the scan information to create a virtual map of the individual's liver, showing exactly where tumors, major blood vessels and other obstacles unique to the patient were located, reports AppleInsider.

The technology makes the surgery far more efficient and lets doctors avoid potential complications and reduce the possibility of errors. The augmented-reality technique could have implications for other organs and operations, for example removing tumors from the pancreas or being even more precise when excising cancerous cells. The liver operation in Bremen marks one of the first times the iPad has been used in such a procedure.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    That's awesome and amazing. There should be a mounting stand that rotates 360 all around so he doesn't have to hold it. By next year, probably there will be the official / medical pro version of the iPad kits that comes with complete hardware accessories and software.........uh hum.... estimated at $20,000.

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-10-01

    I'm not sure if this is a good idea:

    "This is a very complicated and complex operation. I'm using this iPad to help me by... Ooh, I just got a post on Facebook!"

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-10-01

    @coffeetime: One of the great things about the iPad is how it is greatly affecting the cost of medical devices. For example, you can buy a DynaVox Mastro (PC based on Windows, specialized hardware) for over $10,000, or a $500 iPad and maybe $100 in software.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    "Ghhaaahh!!!!! Somebody type in my passcode!"
    I don't want my liver in the cloud, thank you very much.

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