Doctors and surgeons hold patient lives in their very skilled hands. One key component to medicine is being able to see a problem clearly, so a solution can be determined. A Seattle startup company, Proprio Vision, has set their sights on enhancing how surgeons see in the operating room.
Recently granted $7 million in funding, Proprio is developing a system that can capture real-time volumetric video utilizing light field technology. In layman’s terms, multiple cameras set up around the operating room will be able to change a doctors perception in real time.
Proprio CEO Gabrial Jones says, “Light field gives us immersive, much more accurate, much richer data about the world around us than any other system could.” With investors including Intel, HTC, The Venture Reality Fund, Presence Capital, L2 Ventures, and Acequia Capital, Proprio is certainly in a good place to continue building their research. In an effort to focus on their medical research, the company has partnered with Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine.
Partnering with Samuel Browd, a pediatric neurosurgeon, and Professor Joshua Smith, leader of the Sensor Systems research group at the University of Washington–Jones and his cohorts have their eyes set on inventing new surgical technology.
The field of medicine is always evolving and looking for new technology, but some of the methods still used are decades old, leaving room for improvements. Browd says, “As a neurosurgeon, it seemed that VR and computer vision had the potential to lead to a paradigm shift in operative technologies.”
The innovative light technology that Proprio is developing will work with existing medical imaging systems including MRIs and CT scans, so while it’s potentially a revolutionary upgrade, it won’t require hospitals to completely replace current technology. The company foresees current operating stables no longer being necessary, hoping to achieve enhanced user experience for surgeons through the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
The proposed light technology would have immediate applications, allowing surgeons to teach others by replaying the light field video from various angles. Utilizing the tech, they would be able to plan out surgeries and even consult with remote doctors.
Jones compared the technology to a 3D movie saying, “It’s hard to wrap your head around. But it means that where you are, or were, when something was captured no longer matters.”