Magic Leap and UK Startup in Talks for Augmented Reality Surgery Technology
Mixed reality startup Magic Leap is in talks with the UK medical technology startup Digital Surgery in a bid to develop new AR healthcare applications for the company’s futuristic mixed reality headsets.
Digital Surgery is a London-based medical technology startup that has so far developed an impressive ecosystem of digital surgical tools built specifically for surgery and surgical teams. The company’s products are aimed at helping surgeons at the operating theatre realize safe and accessible surgery. It has a built some really nice and popular mobile applications such as Touch-Surgery, an award-winning cognitive application that allows users to train themselves on surgical procedures from virtually anywhere. Touch-Surgery is currently the world’s most downloaded surgical training app with more than 2.5 million users across the globe and over 150 simulations.
Through its medical innovations, Digital Surgery offers an ecosystem of solutions that help clinicians build their own surgical maps and gain access to the startup’s vast library of procedures. By mapping surgical procedures through its applications, the company has managed to create the world’s largest library of surgical intelligence. The Digital Surgery maps help support better surgical training, help in coordinating surgical teams, reduce errors during surgical procedures and analyze the surgical processes. Its products have also helped ensure better decision-making by surgeons in the operating room.
One of its newest products is GoSurgery which extends the company’s reach from “external” training into the operating room (OR), helping coordinate surgical teams and improve their performance interoperatively. The GO Surgery app supports surgical teams in delivering safe surgical care through the use of coordinated workflows that provide the right information to the right surgical team members and at the right time, interoperatively.
The app helps members of the surgical team perform their work in a coordinated and precise manner to deliver the best surgical outcomes for their patients. Using the app ensures the team performing the surgery is fully aligned; that no steps are missed and the correct instrumentation is used during the procedure. It also ensures that the best techniques are used for the best patient outcomes. Not only does GoSurgery help facilitate workflows during complex operations but the technology can also be used in sharing expertise on procedures in real-time with doctors from around the world.
The GoSurgery tool has been developed in collaboration with the Imperial College and the University College Hospital in London.
Digital Surgery hopes to eventually develop technological solutions which will make it possible for surgery to be performed by doctors or surgical teams using sophisticated headsets that will deploy augmented reality to realize the best outcomes. Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated images on the users’ view of the real-world so as to create a composite mixed reality view. In surgical operations, it is easy to visualize how this technology can be used to overlay critical surgical information in the OR.
The medical technology company has already collaborated with Microsoft Hololens’s augmented reality headset division in its healthcare applications. Digital Surgery is now being approached by Magic Leap’s health division for a possible healthcare collaboration. Magic Leap is a gargantuan player in the augmented reality niche. The company is valued at $6 billion and backed by both Google and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, PIF.
The secretive augmented reality company has been working behind the scenes on its virtual reality headsets and recently launched its Magic Leap One Creator’s edition headset. Magic Leap is also in the process of building a healthcare division that will be headquartered in Plantation, FL and is currently looking for EU and FDA approval for the use of its headsets in medicine.
Previously, it was thought that Magic Leap’s technology would mainly be focused on gaming but the company seems to be interested in building applications that will have a more real-world use-case such as in healthcare. A partnership with a successful medical startup such as Digital Surgery may be the key for Magic Leap to hack into a cutting-edge medical technology for its new AR headsets.
It is not yet known what will emerge out of the talks. While Magic Leap has shown an interest in using the Digital Surgery medical technology in its AR glasses, there are still limitations in their potential application due to the weight of the glasses.
Currently, Digital Surgery’s newest application GoSurgery is focused on taking the mapping and learning experience it gave surgeons through its previous apps into the OR room. Doctors will also be able to use this app to develop their own content based on their expertise in performing specific medical procedures such as heart surgery or lung surgery. The GoSurgery app can be setup within 2 to 3 minutes and the operating room computers may in the future be enhanced using artificial intelligence to give surgeons a more intelligent operating environment.