Vision Pro used in surgery for the first time “to eliminate human error”

A UK report describes how Vision Pro was used in surgery, with the spatial computer described as a “gamechanger.” It was first used last month by US neurosurgeon Dr Robert Masson in an operation seen in the above photo.

The headset was said to “eliminate human error” by ensuring that the correct processes and instruments were used throughout the operation …

The Metro’s headline – UK surgeons have used VR goggles during an operation for the first time – isn’t quite accurate. It wasn’t a surgeon who wore Vision Pro, but rather a scrub nurse, also known as a theatre nurse.

The role of the scrub nurse is a crucial one, with an NHS job site describing their tasks during surgery:

  • Preparing all the necessary complex instruments and equipment including microscopes, lasers and endoscopes
  • Working with the surgeon to provide instruments, needles, swabs and other materials as required 
  • Responsibility for the surgical instruments, equipment and swabs 
  • Act as a link between the surgical team and other parts of the theatre and hospital

The device was worn by the nurse during spinal surgery.

A team at private Cromwell Hospital in London used the £2,700 virtual reality goggles to operate on the spine of a male patient as they navigated the surgery in augmented reality.

Only one member of the team, a scrub nurse, wore the goggles as she helped prepare, keep track of the process and choose the right tools. The device allowed them to see the real world with virtual screens highlighting important information.

‘It eliminates human error. It eliminates the guesswork,’ said Suvi Verho, lead scrub nurse at London Independent Hospital told the Daily Mail and cited the technology as a ‘gamechanger’.

The surgeon, Syed Aftab, said that because the scrub nurse could see all of the information from the surgery plan, referencing it in real time during the operation, it effectively allowed them to work as efficiently as someone who had worked alongside him for years.

Mr Aftab praised the software and said it turned a scrub nurse he had never worked with into someone with ten years’ experience. He said that the technology would ‘superpower’ his operating team into the equivalent of a Formula One pit crew.

The same app – created by eXeX – was first used in the US last month by neurosurgeon Dr Robert Masson, who said it made his team’s work “effortless.”

As the surgeon, it is invisible to me, except for the extreme calm, quiet and surreal effortlessness of the predictable, undistracted workflow of my team.

Apple yesterday described how Vision Pro is also being used to help surgeons plan and visualize operations which are carried out with the help of a surgical robot.

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