Conversation Between Two Israeli Air Force Officers In A Coffee Shop Led To A Neurosurgery Breakthrough

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Photo: US Navy

Believe it or not, the seeds of the Surgery Rehearsal Platform sprouted over a conversation between two Israeli Officers in a coffee shop.A website called reported the officers were talking about cutting edge flight simulator technology when they caught the attention of a neurosurgeon from the University Hospitals Case Medical centre. The surgeon thought about how doctors are often “flying blind” when they perform operations on the brain.

So researchers enlisted the help of these Israeli officers—from a University Hospitals report:

Neurosurgeons at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical centre are working with ex-Israeli Air Force officers on a surgical simulator using the same technology as flight simulators to allow realistic, interactive run-throughs of brain surgeries prior to actual procedures.  

This simulator, what they’re calling the “Surgery Rehearsal Platform,” essentially takes flat scans of the brain and turns them into 3D images, allowing surgeons to not only practice on a virtual sample of a patient’s problematic brain, but also eventually conduct brain surgery from remote locations.

The simulator runs scenarios, like an aneurysm, and the “tissue” responds like real tissue.

“Even for experienced surgeons, if we know ahead of time what an aneurysm is going to look like, we could choose a way to optimise the procedure,” Dr. Warren Selmen, neurosurgeon-in-chief of the hospital, told “If we can shave 20 to 30 minutes in an operation, that could improve outcomes for the patients.”

Next: Check out how DARPA plans to connect soldiers brains to technology >

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