Change Healthcare Collaboration: The 24h Event of Microsoft

Special times require creativity and special measures. In the wake of the corona pandemic, Microsoft hosted the 24 HOURS HOLOGRAPHIC SURGERY event as a virtual event. Over 15,000 viewers from 130 countries participated in this unique event on February 9, 2021. They enjoyed 15 discussion panels with over 70 health experts from around the world and 12 live holomedical surgeries. Nine members of the apoQlar Holomedicine Expert Group were featured in the roundtable discussions and interviews of the event.

HoloLens hardware combined with Virtual Surgery Intelligence (VSI) software is being used in more and more areas of healthcare and medicine, from dermatology to visceral surgery. This combination around mixed reality in a medical context is called “holomedicine.” As part of the 24-hour “Holographic Surgery” event, medical experts gathered in videoconferences to share, through their experiences, the impact and scale that this innovative technology brings.

Here you will find the interesting contributions to the discussion of the German Roundtable:

Prof. Dr. med. Ingo Stoffels, Senior Physician, Head of “Intraoperative Imaging and Technology Transfer” WG, Department of Dermatology, Allergology and Venereology, University Hospital Essen, Germany

Prof. Stoffels uses VSI Holomedicine in the field of sentinel lymph node surgery and melanoma patients. This involves searching for a specific lymph node in the drainage lymph node of the primary melanoma. VSI is proving to be particularly helpful here because of the number of lymph nodes and difficult structures in the head and neck area. He uses holomedicine as a sort of surgical roadmap, retrieving previously acquired SPECT images in 3D during surgery. In addition, Prof. Stoffels also uses VSI Holomedicine for surgery on metastases. „It’s a little bit like a roadmap on the passenger seat, telling you to go left or right. (…) Now you can focus on the area of your surgical treatment. And if you need it, you can switch the additional information on and off by using voice commands.“, says Prof. Stoffels during his interview.

Prof. Dr. med. Gernot M. Kaiser, FACS, Chief Physician Clinic for General and Visceral Surgery at St. Bernhard Hospital
Professor Kaiser is an oncologist and works in the field of visceral surgery. He performs operations on the liver, pancreas and other solid organs in the human body. In the interview, Prof. Kaiser illustrates how important it is in his daily work to be able to visualize the real tumour, how it is localized, and how it relates to neighbouring structures. This is where he sees the greatest advantage of holomedicine:

„This is the major point in my opinion, I can position the 3D dimensional view on the patient in the operating room. So, the patient and the organs became vitreous. I can really see the tumour, I just look at the surface of the liver, for example, and this makes things a lot easier for me,“ says Prof. Kaiser.

Dr. Patrick House, Epileptology and Senior Physician at the Epilepsy Center Hamburg, Evangelical Hospital Alsterdorf
Dr. House is a neurologist, epileptologist and one of the first physicians to join the “Holomedicine Expert Group” and thus support the development of VSI: “I knew at once that this would become an awesome navigation tool for surgeons and neurosurgeons,” says Dr. House in conversation, “That’s how I became a holodoc”.

As an epileptologist, his daily tasks include locating focal cortical dysplasias, or FCDs. They are often the origin of epilepsy in the brain. What makes them special is that they are invisible to neurosurgeons. They operate on them, but can only see them on MRI. If the FCD can be removed completely, the patient has a higher chance of becoming seizure-free. Holomedicine creates a tool to help the surgeon do this by overlaying the 3D MRI images with the FCD in the brain.

Dr. House also uses VSI for patient education and has conducted a study on it that showed holomedicine significantly reduced anxiety in patients.

Prof. Dr. med. univ. Kathrin Yen, Medical Director at the Institute of Forensic and Traffic Medicine, Heidelberg
Prof. Kathrin Yen examines people who have suffered violence at the Forensic Institute of the University of Heidelberg. This includes, for example, domestic and sexual violence, cases of attempted murder, child abuse and child sexual abuse.

„I think the advantages are so obvious and so clear that it will get access to the medical system in the coming years. And I’m also convinced that the advantages are also perfectly sweetened with our needs, that we will get these systems into our medical services within the next two years and it will become normal as normal and usual. As we use our mobile phones today, we will be able to use it as well. It’s very intuitive and not difficult to use.“, says Prof. Yen during her interview.