A high-tech third eye for neurosurgeons, Proprio could change the OR forever
Surgery of all kinds is increasingly aided by technology, but in most cases it’s still a human holding the scalpel especially for delicate and complex operations like spine surgery.
Proprio technology is reinventing the way surgeons see, understand and influence the contours of bone and tissue, improving outcomes and potentially saving lives.
This is not a compact x-ray machine or a cheaper MRI.
It is a living aid for the doctor’s office where accuracy and accurate, up-to-date patient information are critical.
The promise of the technology has also attracted investment: the company today announced $43 million in new funding.
Spinal deformity occurs when a condition, trauma, or habit causes the natural curvature of the spine to assume excessive or distorted proportions.
The most common cause is probably scoliosis, which progressively deforms the spine and can lead to serious disability if left untreated.
To prevent this, the spine is equipped with a special metal frame fixed with screws.
Limits and corrects this tendency and keeps the vertebrae in a healthier alignment.
Millimeter width between curing and paralyzing the patient. Spinal correction surgery is common and effective.
It is also incredibly difficult and specialized work.
And while new tools have emerged over the years to make it safer and more likely to succeed.
A given procedure can still require a dozen X-rays and other scans, and methods of virtually augmenting surgeons’ own senses are stuck in the past.
Detailed images of the interior are needed for preparation, but by the time they are in the operating room.
Patient images can be days or weeks old, and especially for acute conditions or trauma, this is a huge problem.
If the images do not correspond to reality, not only could something have happened in the patient’s body.
There is an increased risk of damage when working with outdated information.
If the surgeon senses that the situation may have changed, the patient must be placed in the imaging device and everyone must clear the room.
Imagine doing that middle surgery with all that goes with it! Not only is this disruptive to the procedure and time-consuming.
It results in multiple doses of radiation for the patient and the surgeon who is repeatedly exposed to the process.
Proprio is a startup that aims to completely change the way this and other procedures are performed.
By mapping detailed pre-operative scans onto a real-time 3D representation of the patient’s anatomy.
Passing through a complex set of sensors that monitor movements and changes at the sub-millimetre level.
The company’s first product, Paradigm, is a real-time surgical guidance device that includes a complex multi-camera imager.
Display that shows exactly what the surgeon needs to know to drive the screw in the exact trajectory needed to attach the brace without splitting a vertebra or puncturing the spinal cord and mutilation of the patient.
To do this, it does a hyper-accurate version of what your phone can do for an augmented reality app.
Tracks the space and objects around you and places a virtual character or piece of furniture in the desired location.
Although there are some systems that already do this, they rely on combining static preoperative images with a physical marker as a reference point.
Basically, they don’t track the physiology of the patient, but rather the marker itself, which means the position of the vertebrae, etc. – more of a guess than an observed fact.
Paradigm in addition to useful preoperative images but not fixed images Vertebral position and orientation. Instead, the vertebrae are rendered in 3D Arsenic.
Moving, moving objects that they are, and the imaging part can observe and “register” their positions in existing time, it is not necessary.
So if the Diligent moves, the aliases have to move the beryllium.
The aliases for the unmeasured logic of the Vertex aren’t exactly where they were before when the MRI was done no problem.
The strategy continuously tracks them in 3D abstraction by closely monitoring exposed surfaces and various factors.
While accuracy is not an easy metric to reduce in a specified adaptable context.
The institution had an opportunity, it was astatine “submillimeter” level.
How it’s done is part of the company’s hidden spice I’ve seen relevant prototypes from their refinement process, crunching different numbers and camera configurations.
The latest creation for Paradigm includes a champion of these and, of course, each group is ready for action in the OR.