Digital surgical loupe available soonnovember 25, 2018
From its base at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus, i-Med Technology is developing a unique, lightweight digital surgical loupe weighing less than 250 grams. The digital surgical loupe is equipped with powerful LED lighting and excellent FHD 3D image quality. Surgeons can use this device to call up pre-operative diagnostic information among other things, data which then appears in the user’s field of vision. This digital loupe then creates 3D recordings of everything the surgeon sees through the loupe. This total package makes the i-Med product extremely interesting for almost every surgeon.
i-Med Technology is really onto something great. And the potential market is not only confirming this, it also is happy to help optimize the product. For initiators Vincent Graham (photo right) and Jaap Heukelom (photo left), quality and innovation are at the top of their list of priorities. “We listen closely to what the market wants. First and foremost, the quality of our digital surgical loupe is outstanding, which is essential. The true added value for surgeons arises once we are capable of developing the specific applications they are asking for.”
Vincent Graham explains that almost every surgeon already works with a customized loupe because it helps them work with higher precision. “Using our digital surgical loupe, during surgery, surgeons can instantly see pre-op diagnostic images and sources of information or call them up in their field of vision. It is also possible to display cutting lines, lymphs and nerve bundles. Surgeons don’t have to interrupt a procedure, but instead can quickly and easily call up and view all the information they need by activating it via a pedal or voice recognition. We added another special element; two cameras film the procedure as well as all the requested information in 3D. Viewers see everything the surgeon sees through the digital surgical loupe: the work surface, the hands operating and every move they make plus all the requested and displayed information.” Not only does this combination make I-Med’s digital surgical loupe a particularly helpful tool for surgeons, but also an ideal instrument for educational purposes. All of this is currently being developed and several prototypes are being tested.
Giant leap into the future
With the right software, you can customize the digital surgical loupe’s applications for every specialization. The wishes and ideas for these applications come from the surgeons who work with them. Prof. Dr. Michael Jacobs, cardiovascular surgeon in Maastricht and Aachen is all too happy to help. “i-Med really has something unique to offer. I have never seen anything like this, anywhere in the world. The combination of a loupe and a camera is perfect for training our students before they start operating on real patients.” At the annual European Vascular Course (EVC) held in early March this year, 1,200 (prospective) professional colleagues watched 3D recordings of an aortic reconstruction, filmed with the digital surgical loupe worn by Michael Jacobs.
Professor of Innovative Surgical Techniques Prof. Dr. Nicole Bouvy is just as enthusiastic. As a surgeon and head of the innovative surgery department at Maastricht UMC+, she is always looking for ways to make surgery less invasive. “I am really interested in the possibilities for building separate camera systems in that can make lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels and nerves visible in real-time, in infrared for example. This can help reduce the chance of tissue damage, an occupational hazard for every surgeon.”
The initiators Vincent Graham and Jaap Heukelom have been working on the optimal business plan for over eighteen months now. In July 2018, the joint venture i-Med Technology BV was officially founded. The partners are Vincent, Jaap, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus BV and investor Quaest Invest BV. Various companies and start-ups based at and around the Maastricht campus are working on optimizing the product. The digital surgical loupes will be tested extensively in the operating rooms at Maastricht UMC+ in early 2019, and then i-Med will be ready for launch on the global market.