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VR in Interactive 3D Surgical Planning: Episode 2

Future Goals and Insights to Surgical Applications Globally and Remotely


In Episode 1 of the VR Surgical System, we talked about the unmet need for this technology in Healthcare, and as well touched on how it will assist clinicians to plan surgical procedures in real time with other team members and applications of sensor fusion and data visualization.  What areas of surgery do you see of most need that will benefit from the greatest impact of your technology –  say over the next 5 years?

Image Credit: FutureCite Inc

Pierre & Kumar:

Our current applications of this technology are in the field of cardiac, maxillofacial, and hip surgeries. These technologies can be also applied to other medical applications such as remote surgical training, anatomy teaching, and much more.


Interesting to learn today that remote applications of this technology could also apply in the field – such as in military applications.

Pierre & Kumar:

The system will undergo a usability study in the next few months to determine how well the system works in real-clinical applications.


Medical devices and implant registration is now front page in news. Will your technology looking forward enable surgeons and registries to test the safety of new devices?

Pierre & Kumar:

No, not yet as one would have to add a simulation layer to our solution that will allow to simulate the operation of medical devices using the data provided by the medical images. We are currently working on such a solution, but it is not ready to be integrated yet to VR Surgical.


Pierre & Kumar, looking forward to our next chat on the next stage development of the VR Surgical System!  Stay tuned as Episode 3 will be a sneak peek of users interacting in real time on the VR Surgical System on the planning of a surgical procedure for a patient

About Dr. Pierre Boulanger
Pierre is currently the Director of the Advanced Man Machine Interface Laboratory (AMMI) as well as the Scientific Director of the SERVIER Virtual Cardiac Centre in the Mazankowski Heart Institute. In 2013, Dr. Boulanger was awarded the CISCO chair in healthcare solutions, a 10 years investment by CISCO systems in the development of new IT technologies for healthcare in Canada.
Dr. Boulanger received his in Engineering Physics and his Masters in Physics Laval University, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Montreal. Dr. Boulanger cumulates more than 35 years of experience in 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and the applications of virtual reality systems to medicine and industrial manufacturing. Dr. Boulanger worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interest was in 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. He now has a double appointment as a professor at the University of Alberta Department of Computing Science and at the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging.

About Dr. Kumaradevan Punithakumar
Kumar is currently the Operational and Computational Director of the SERVIER Virtual Cardiac Centre in the Maznakowski Heart Institute. Dr. Kumaradevan Punithakumar received the B.Sc.Eng. (with First class Hons.) degree in electronic and telecommunication engineering from the University of Moratuwa and the M.A.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from McMaster University. From 2008 to 2012, he was an Imaging Research Scientist at GE Healthcare, Canada. He was the recipient of the Industrial Research and Development Fellowship by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in 2008, and the GE Innovation award in 2009. Areas of interest include medical image analysis and visualization, information fusion, object tracking, and nonlinear filtering.

About Dr. Michelle Noga
Michelle is the Medical Director of the SVCC. Dr. Michelle Noga is a radiologist trained at University of Alberta and British Columbia’s Children’s and Women’s hospital. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Alberta, department of radiology and diagnostic imaging, and a radiologist with Medical Imaging Consultants. Areas of interest include pediatric cardiac MRI and CT, post-processing of cross-sectional cardiac imaging, 3D visualization, rapid prototyping, pediatric airway, and finite element analysis.

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