Pokemon Go: Into the Brain

A New York surgeon believe that new technology involved in the new Pokemon Go game could be used to save lives in complex brain operations.

Dr. Joshua Bederson, a neurosurgeon, uses multiple forms of innovative technology in his practice of medicine. Screens on walls of the operating room project views from his surgical microscope, as well as scans of the patient’s brain. He also uses a new program called CaptiView, which could be the future of brain surgery.

Bederson has practiced surgery for decades, learning how to become more efficient during long procedures. Getting in the optimal position means you can work three to four hours without a break. This new technology mixes conventional brain scans with virtual reality and augmented reality, making surgery more efficient that he could have imagined. Navigation software called Brainlab creates a GPS map for the brain. Brightly colored lines and circles show the surgeon what areas to aim for and what to avoid.

Virtual reality and 3D printing are increasingly used for complicated surgeries. The 3D scans turn allow surgeons to wear VR glasses and get a close 360-degree look inside the brain before performing surgery, while 3D printed models of the brain are used to plan and practice an operation.

The technology is still being fine-tuned, but could one day be so advanced that robots may perform basic surgeries. The next generation of simulation and virtual reality technology can improve patient results and solve neurosurgical hurdles.

Mohney, Gillian. “What a Brain Surgeon’s Virtual Reality Tool and Pokemon Go Have in Common.” Health. ABC News, 22 Jul 2016. Web. 24 Jul 2016.

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