Israeli innovators adapt VR helmet for eye surgery
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Israeli innovators have turned technology designed for fighter pilots into an augmented reality headset to assist eye surgeons.
This is a VR headset from Beyeonics One , which is now being implemented in Europe, having received the CE mark in the fall. In America, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration after being used for 2,000 surgeries in research phases.
This technology has recently been the subject of a peer-reviewed study that has shown good results in its first application for endothelial keratoplasty, a complex procedure to remove abnormal material from the cornea.
Beyeonics One is an adaptation of the head-mounted displays that pilots have been using for decades and which are getting better and better. Ron Schneider worked on such displays for the Israeli defense company Elbit and created Beyeonics, which he now heads as CEO, to develop the technology.
“The standard instrument today is the old-fashioned surgical microscope. But there are advanced imaging headsets for flying, and the idea is to use those capabilities for surgery,” Schneider told The Times of Israel.
When surgeons put on the Beyeonics One headset, they they see a very highly magnified image of the eye, as well as important information about the patient obtained during preoperative tests and checks. For hygiene reasons, they don't need to touch the keyboard, but simply control their vision with their head gestures.
The Beyeonics One wasn't the only smart headset available, but according to Schneider, it was very clear and had a high level of surgical data.
Schneider said the VR helmet will evolve through a range of software applications with different features, such as apps that alert doctors to various risks during surgery based on the images it processes.
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