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Nov 4, 2019

NEO innovation award for HoloMed

TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe awarded the HoloMed project with the NEO 2019 innovation prize. With augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), HoloMed supports neurosurgeons during operations, making brain surgery safer and more efficient. We developed the concept and implemented it in cooperation with the Institute of Technology (KIT) of Karlsruhe University.

How can artificial intelligence improve the working environment of the future? This question was at the center of the NEO 2019 competition of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe. A jury of experts selected the HoloMed research project as the winner. HoloMed is an augmented reality application used by neurosurgeons for ventricular punctions. “The awardee won over the jury with its outstanding combination of solution-oriented thinking processes and user-friendly added value which led to exceptional results – made by people for people,” said speaker Laura Winterling at the award ceremony on October 23, 2019 in Karlsruhe.

Picture credits: Michael M. Roth, TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe GmbH

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Better results with AR and AI

Ventricular punctions are routine interventions in neurosurgery. In order to puncture the ventricle filled with brain fluid, the surgeon has to drill a hole into the skull and insert a catheter. However, the catheter is only placed at the right position in two out of three punctions.

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HoloMed helps to reduce this high error rate: Using information taken from CT or MRT scans, HoloMed computes a 3D model of the brain, which is projected with millimeter precision over the patient’s head. Additional graphical elements help the surgeon to locate the right position and angle for the puncture. “HoloMed makes deeper tissues in the body visible, thus contributing to making tomorrow’s working environment simpler and safer for surgeons and patients alike. This achievement was recognized by this award, which makes my team and me very happy,” says Dominik Zenth, User Experience Consultant and HoloMed Project Manager at UID.

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User centricity

UID developed and designed the augmented reality application and implemented it together with the Institute of Technology (KIT) of Karlsruhe University. Right from the start, the usability experts integrated neurosurgeons into the development process to ensure that the system is perfectly aligned to the users’ requirements and work processes: They analyzed the target group’s requirements onsite, tested and re-tested a functional prototype a number of times under real-life conditions and included the resulting feedback from the doctors into the project in several iterative runs.

The project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research and was supported by other cooperation partners, i.e. mbits imaging GmbH and the Ulm University Hospital.