Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Dept. of Neurosurgery and Vascular Therapy ― Catheter Shaping

HoloEyes – May 17, 2018

Dr. Kazutaka Sumita, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Dept. of Neurosurgery and Vascular Therapy  

Dr. Kazutaka Sumita, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Dept. of Neurosurgery and Vascular Therapy

1) How did you learn about HoloEyes?

I attended a vascular therapy conference and was searching for a hologram for use with 3D printing technology. I was hoping to find something like a hologram that could be displayed and viewed in 3 dimensions. That’s where I learned about HoloEyes XR service.

When we insert catheters into aneurysm arteries a 3D printer is used to create a model of the actual artery. This is followed by microcatheter shaping and then the procedure is carried out. Professor Nemoto (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Dept. of Neurovascular Treatments & Procedures) was one of the pioneers in using 3D printers for actual procedures. Before the advent of 3D printers shaping was performed by observing a 2D image on a monitor that made it look 3D.

When I learned that HoloEyes XR could create a mixed reality application that can be viewed with HoloLens I felt that it would be ideal for our purposes.

2) What are your expectations of HoloEyes service?

I want to be able to view a model of an actual artery floating in the air so I can place the catheter over it. That would be very helpful. Although artery models produced using 3D printers can be arranged and viewed horizontally, they don’t allow you to place the catheter over the model. And because you don’t produce the model using a printer it saves time. With Internet access a usable model is produced in about 30 minutes, which is very convenient. If the required time is reduced even further its range of utilization will increase. Some aneurisms burst while others have not yet burst. Presently we are treating those that haven’t burst. We perform catheter shaping during the operation using scanning data taken before the operation. By reducing the amount time required to produce a model, treatment during the acute phase will be much more possible. Case studies have shown that reducing the time required for 3D printing makes possible treatment during the acute phase, however further time reductions are desirable. Automating the process of transforming DAICOM data into applications would be ideal.


In the future, if we could project a patient’s imagery instantly in the operating theater, like a navigation system, the potential uses for VR would increase dramatically. And because we perform surgeries using microscopes I would like to see VR integrated into microscopes. Taking it even further, if we could see the tumor by viewing a patient’s head using HoloLens that would be extremely beneficial. I think a time will come when we’ll be able to project VR imagery from various locations of patients in the operating room the instant they go to sleep. As Professor Nemoto said, “As helpful as VR is for catheter shaping, using it only for that would be a waste. There is tremendous potential for further development.”


3) What was it like to actually use?

When I overlapped the 3D printer model with the HoloLens projection the size and shape were the same so there was no problem. Because I could shape the catheter by placing it over the artery I could see with HoloLens I found it easier to use than the 3D printed model.

My only concern is that the user does need to accustom their eyes to it. The first time I used it, it took me from 30 minutes to an hour to get used to it. Other than that, I think this technology can be widely used for shaping.


4) Do you see any obstacles to introducing this technology?

The shape is formed before insertion into the body, so we’re comparing it with the 3D printed models and the other techniques.

In terms of cost, since each one only costs ¥10,000, the research costs are no problem. To make this service more widely available it might be best to offer the service via a yearly subscription fee or have other sources of funding.


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