US-based health technology company Novarad has carried out the US’ first live pedicle screw placement using its VisAR augmented reality surgical navigation system.

Described as a ‘milestone’ in orthopaedic and spinal surgery, the procedure was carried out by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Bradley Moatz at MedSTAR Union Hospital.

Dr Moatz was assisted by Novarad CEO and co-creator of VisAR Dr Wendell Gibby for the procedure.

VisAR’s ‘immersive’ augmented reality technology is intended to support complex surgical procedures, providing interactive 3D navigation by projecting the patient’s imaging data over their body.

Unlike legacy navigational robots, VisAR is claimed to offer a more cost-effective, scalable and precise solution for surgical navigation.

The VisAR system is designed to minimise invasiveness, reduce complications and expedite patient recovery.

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According to a press statement, VisAR offers benefits such as reducing the invasiveness of procedures, which can lead to shorter recovery times and lower risk of complications.

It features a shorter learning curve than other augmented reality surgical navigation systems.

In addition, the system can be used across multiple operating rooms at any facility, saving hospitals money.

Dr Gibby said: “This milestone highlights the transformative power of augmented reality in the operating room.

“Our VisAR system empowers surgeons with unmatched precision and real-time visual guidance.

“VisAR is a game-changer for complex surgical navigation.”

In June last year, Novarad’s VisAR system received 510(k) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for precision-guided intraoperative spine surgery.

The system uses only a Microsoft HoloLens II visor, reducing its operating room footprint.

It operates on Novarad’s proprietary imaging technology solution stack, which is designed to provide interoperability, HIPAA compliance, image management and deep security.

Based in Utah, Novarad provides imaging and enterprise solutions that are used by more than 1,000 hospitals, imaging centres and clinics.