An orthopedic surgeon in Mumbai, India, performed successful knee replacement surgery on a patient using an innovative device from Smith & Nephew and Brain Lab — a really interesting contraption that uses the iPod Touch’s processing power and user interface as a part of the surgical device.

The device is currently pending FDA approval, and Smith & Nephew is hoping it changes the way orthopedic surgeons perform knee and hip joint replacement procedures by improving surgical accuracy. Currently, surgical navigation tools are bulky and difficult to set up, not to mention expensive for the hospital. Using an iPod Touch as an interface could potentially make this technology accessible to more surgeons.

The following video from the company shows how the device works:

Per the companies description of the device:

The Smith & Nephew Dash™ Smart Instrument system*, powered by Brainlab, is a portable surgical navigation system designed to assist orthopedic surgeons in performing knee and hip joint replacement procedures with greater accuracy. Central to Dash™ is the easy-to-use handheld device with touchscreen interface (iPod touch) that works remotely with the mobile platform and infrared camera to provide surgeons with accurate and intuitive guidance through each procedure.

This, combined with the ability to make interactive fine-tune adjustments to the surgical instruments, provides the surgeon with a high-precision and portable tool for the accurate placement of artificial knee and hip implants.

The surgeon who performed the surgery remarked on how the iPod Touch allowed for improved navigation and better accuracy.  This is a great example of how a device maker is using existing technologies in conjunction with their hardware.

The economies of scale allow the iPod Touch to be cheaper to use than making a home grown graphical interface device, and allows for a more versatile device due the robust user interface of the iOS platform.

Source: Brain Lab

Source: Times of India