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Ask Spine Surgeons: Dr. Good Provides 2020 Insight To Augmented Reality

Authored by Dr. Christopher Good, MD, FACS. February 25, 2020

Spine and neurosurgeons discuss what strategies they will introduce in their practices next year.

Question: What strategies or programs do you plan to introduce next year?

Christopher Good, MD. Virginia Spine Institute (Reston): Advances in technology have greatly impacted spine surgery over the last decade. 3D navigation, robotic guidance and computerized surgical planning have become commonplace in the modern spine operating room. The use of such advanced technology is supported by multicenter data showing that this technology can lead to improved accuracy and better patient outcomes by decreasing complications. Looking to 2020, we will continue to advance this vast experience and build on current research to improve safety during spine surgery.

I’m excited to introduce augmented reality into my operating room. Augmented reality offers potential benefits beyond standard navigation because it allows me to simultaneously visualize my patient and the data from my navigation system while operating. I will be able to more easily merge technology into a spine surgery and improve workflow, making surgery more efficient. Augmented reality promises future benefits to spine surgeons as we will be able to use these headsets to visualize many different types of critical information while performing surgery.

I foresee the modern operating room using augmented reality not only to enhance navigation and instrumentation, but to also provide surgeons endoscopic or magnified views of the patient’s anatomy, and to superimpose clinical and radiographic data all on a simple to use heads-up display. I see this as a huge breakthrough with the potential to streamline and partner several technologies in the operating room.

We have already seen this technology incorporated into many areas outside of medicine. I believe there will be a strong patient interest and demand for augmented reality as we continue to push to make our surgeries safer and less invasive.

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Dr. Christopher Good, MD, FACS

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