Interactive medical phantom for practicing functional stereotactic interventions
Implementation from idea to first prototype

A crash test of medtech & healthtech startups by BSS: developing a training stereotactic phantom

RoadmapViews: 186Comments: 0

Our project was presented at the crash test of medical startups.

The video in Russian can be seen below.

My name is Viktor Aleksandrovich Peskov, I am a neurosurgeon. Today I present our technology, which we are developing in the field of training in stereotactic neurosurgery. Stereotactic neurosurgery is a field of surgery where the surgeon needs to precisely bring a minimally invasive instrument into a certain area of the brain for the purpose of therapeutic intervention. A great variety of stereotactic techniques are used for this purpose: stereotactic frames, neuronavigation and even stereotactic robots. At the same time the surgeon needs to manipulate a lot of knowledge and skills to work with this technique and directly in addition to that he should know the clinical component, the anatomy of the human brain as well.

How does a standard surgery like this go? The patient is fitted with a stereotactic frame with a localizer, then a stereotactic tomography is performed, then the surgeon plans the operation on the planning station, taking into account the anatomy of the patient - the passage of various vessels, etc., and then the operative stage, when he precisely brings the instrument into the target of the brain.

How does a surgeon learn how to perform such operations? There are various options: first, there are master classes, where the surgeon watches an experienced expert perform these surgeries for many years, assists him, and helps him. Also various cadaver courses, where you can perform such an operation on cadaveric material. Virtual phantoms, using augmented reality and virtual reality directly. And stereotactic phantoms. Here you can see head models which have specific targets where the surgeon has to plan and hit with a stereotactic tool.

Most of such phantoms have a high level of abstraction, so it's quite difficult to transfer this methodology of surgery on phantoms to a real operating room, since the surgeon works primarily with MRI and CT scans of the human brain when planning surgery. After marking these phantoms, the surgeon gets a tomography of the phantom in the form of some plastic elements and internal components.

We are presenting our technology today. Our phantom has its key functions such as:

  • anthropomorphic properties not only of the external features of the human head, but also of the virtual space of the MRI and CT brain;
  • It is compatible with various types of stereotactic equipment;
  • models multiple clinical tasks and allows the evaluation of the performed surgery in an interactive real-time mode.
  • The phantom is a set of hardware software, but directly all the technical component in it is hidden by the surgeon. We are trying to create a device that will simulate as much as possible the stages of surgery, which will not differ from human brain surgery.

    How does it work? The surgeon gets a clinical task: for example, he needs to perform a highly accurate brain biopsy. The surgeon attaches a stereotactic frame to the phantom, then performs a CT scan. Then comes our technology, which allows you to replace the volume of the phantom on the CT scan with the human brain, so the surgeon plans the operation using the MRI and CT scan of the prototype brain - let's say the person whose CT scan the phantom is made from. In the operating room, the surgeon makes an incision, places a hole at a planned point on the convexital surface of the phantom and plunges the stereotactic instrument along a planned trajectory.Our technology allows to evaluate in real time how correctly a surgeon has chosen a stereotactic target in a specific clinical training task, the accuracy of the procedure - in this way he/she gets an assessment of his/her actions.

    Our background on the project: the idea was born at the beginning of the twentieth year when we got the Grant of the "Clever" and implemented it, got the patent for the invention. Now we actually received a Start 1 Grant to create a company and implement the idea and the possibility of commercialization. Last Friday we have tested the device for the first time already with stereotactic equipment - here you can see the Phantom, on the right side you can see how we are using MRI of the brain to bring it to certain targets and get the accuracy of the target in real time. The phantom assesses the surgeon, the accuracy of his manipulation.

    Here are different kinds of phantom variants, but none of them unfortunately carries the functions that we have implemented in our device. In fact - it is in a way a revolutionary solution in stereotactic training.

    The volume of the global stereotactic equipment market is huge, it's just gigantic. By 2030 it will be up to 30 billion dollars. But it is hard to say yet how much market volume our solution can cover, but potential customers are training centers for stereotactic methods, certification center for surgeons, including passing the exam, distributors of stereotactic equipment and functional neurosurgery departments.

    One phantom - but in it many different clinical tasks are saved and in fact the surgeon gets an expert opinion on his performed surgery right here and now. our team I as the project leader, Expert of our team It is Kholyavin Andrey Ivanovich Doctor of Medicine honored doctor in the field of functional and stereotactic neurosurgery. Of course, we also need a professional programmer for the team. Here is a link to the project website, where you can find our contacts.

    Thank you for the feedback on our project, we have received clear recommendations for further development of the device and opportunities to commercialize the idea! wink