NUHS Embarks on Holomedicine Research in Singapore, Using Mixed Reality Technology to Enhance Diagnosis, Education and Patient Care

That National University Health System (NUHS) has started a research and development program within the academic health cluster to investigate the use of MR technology in clinical care. The research program aims to support the development of next-generation clinical applications and improve patient safety. This would improve clinical processes and improve both undergraduate and postgraduate education. While the use of holographic technology in operating rooms is still in its infancy, NUHS hopes to use it in several areas of surgery.

“Holographic technology can radically change the way we practice medicine. Early adoption will put NUHS at the forefront of medical MR research and position us as a pioneer in the clinical use of this technology, ”said Associate Professor Ngiam Kee Yuan, NUHS Group Chief Technology officer who is responsible for research and development of the holomedicine program NUHS supervised.

While holomedicine is new to medicine, it has become increasingly important over the past year. “It not only uses the concept of MR to expand our physical environment, but also enables interaction with virtual objects that are superimposed on the real world. The virtual objects can also be manipulated relative to the real world using natural hand gestures, ”explains Dr. Gao Yujia, Associate Consultant in the Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, National University Hospital (NUH) and the program director for holomedicine at NUHS.

Potential of holographic technology in brain surgery

A team of neurosurgeons at the NUH has initiated a study to evaluate the feasibility of using holographic technology for spatial localization of brain tumors during operations on patients.

Use holographic visors[1]a three-dimensional (3D) hologram of a patient’s brain scan is projected into the room and placed on the patient’s head during the operation. This hologram is generated from the CT scan of the patient’s own brain using medical 3D software called Virtual Surgery Intelligence (VSI) created by apoQlar. When the hologram is placed on a patient’s head, surgeons can view the 3D holographic images of the brain from different angles.

They can also get information and use gesture and voice recognition to modify the images in the sight so that they can interact with and control the holographic image that is overlaid on the patient.

Clinical Associate Professor Yeo Tseng Tsai, Head and Senior Physician of the Department of Neurosurgery, NUH, said, “With this holographic technology, you can see into the brain. You can see the blood vessels and, above all, identify the tumor quickly and precisely. ”To know at which angle and where the incision has to be made. For over thirty years we have used a portable navigation system to navigate and identify the location of the tumor. In comparison, this new mixed reality system is more intuitive than we can now see inside the patient’s head without looking up and referring to a computer screen while a procedure is in progress. ”

With the potential for higher precision and faster localization, patient care and safety can be improved. In addition, weighing only around 500 grams, the MR headset can one day replace bulky operating room equipment and even reduce radiation exposure in procedures such as spinal surgery, which currently use X-rays to guide the placement of metallic implants.

The NUHS completed the first phase of the research program with a proof-of-concept study, in which various disciplines such as neurosurgery, plastic surgery and ophthalmology at the NUH evaluated the MR devices and brainstormed future areas of development. The headsets were used for evaluation purposes to identify use cases, understand clinician acceptance levels, evaluate the system, and assess the long-term sustainability of the deployment.

NUHS has developed a holistic holomedicine roadmap that includes short- and long-term research projects, integration with existing hospital systems, and procedures for engaging users and Improvement of the hospital infrastructure to support the system. Some potential use cases include streaming live data from image capture devices and using artificial intelligence and machine learning for advanced image processing and predictive analytics. In addition, the HoloLens 2 device can also be used by patients to help them better understand the procedures they are to undergo. It does this by projecting a 3D representation of a patient’s scan to better illustrate the steps of their procedure.

Before this holomedical solution can be implemented as a primary clinical method, clinical validation studies and trials are required. This includes comparing MR technology to current gold standards of clinical practice and measured results, including data on accuracy, stability and potential risks and limitations of that ability. Registration with the required governance bodies, including the Health Science Authority (HSA), is also required before this solution can be used in a direct patient intervention role.

Cooperation with industry

The NUHS team in collaboration with the Engineering Design & Innovation Center under the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Engineering, has also received a grant from $ 100,000 from the Engineering in Medicine Grant under NUHS and NUS in March 2021. The grant will enable the team to embark on a real-time volumetric imaging and positioning project for ultrasound scans.

Working with industry is an essential part of research and development in holomedicine in NUHS. NUHS has partnered with Microsoft and apoQlar in its holomedicine efforts. Going forward, NUHS will continue to build on its existing partnerships and explore new industry collaborations to push the boundaries of MR technology in healthcare.

NUHS is also privileged to be a founding member of the Holomedicine Association, an international organization made up of clinicians, scientists and industry partners who are actively involved in research and development in holomedicine. With 12 members on the founding committee including the association’s board of directors, the NUHS is well positioned to participate in collaborations with other hospitals, research institutes and industrial partners around the world.

“We’re not just end users of holomedicine; we hope to be an active developer and validate its application in medicine. We will work with our partners to make holomedicine customizable, user-friendly and clinically applicable, ”said A / Prof. Ngiam Kee Yuan.

“Last year’s experience shows that technology can empower healthcare workers and help them protect and save patient lives. The NUHS Holomedicine Study is further evidence of how innovative use of technologies, such as mixed reality solutions and Microsoft HoloLens 2, can have a truly transformative impact on healthcare. Technology-enabled neurosurgeons can potentially perform safer procedures, achieve better results, and ultimately provide better patient care. We are proud to be working with NUHS and other clinicians in the region to unlock the full potential of digital technology in holomedicine in multiple therapeutic areas in the coming years, “said Dr. Keren Priyadarshini, Regional Business Lead, Worldwide Health, Microsoft Asia.

“Holomedicine has the potential to sustainably revolutionize medical standards in most – if not all – medical fields. We are very excited to be joining our forces with NUHS, a globally recognized academic health system, “said Mr Sirko Pelzl, CEO, apoQlar.

ApoQlar’s software has successfully obtained the HSA Class A License and the Singapore Standard SS620 certification in April 2021. The NUHS hopes to make the holographic technology available to all of their hospitals and institutes within the health cluster in the near future.

“Technological advances, particularly in the field of MR, have opened new horizons for medicine. By bringing together other technologies such as artificial intelligence, real-time image recognition and predictive modeling, these MRI machines offer clinicians opportunities that were once thought impossible, “said A / Prof Ngiam Kee Yuan.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Communications office
National University Health system
E-mail: [email protected]

[1] Microsoft HoloLens 2 was used as part of the proof-of-concept study.

About the National University Health System (NUHS)

That National University The health system (NUHS) aims to transform the way disease is prevented and treated by discovering the root causes of disease, developing more effective treatments through collaborative multidisciplinary research and clinical trials, and working with others who share the same to develop better technologies and supply systems developed. Values and visions.

The institutions of the NUHS group include the National University Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Jurong Community Hospital, and Alexandra Hospital; three national

Specialty Centers – National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), National University Heart center, Singapore (NUHCS) and National University Oral Health Center, Singapore (NUCOHS); the National University Polyclinics (NUP); Jurong Medical Center; and three NUS Health Science Faculties – the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (including the Alice Lee Center for Nursing Studies), the NUS Faculty of Dentistry, and the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

With member institutions under a common governance structure, the NUHS creates synergies for promoting health by integrating patient care, health science education and biomedical research.

As a regional health system, NUHS works closely with health and social partners across the country Singapore Development and implementation of programs that lead to a healthy and engaged population in the western part of. contribute Singapore.

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SOURCE National University Health System (NUHS)

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