Dr. Timothy Williams, a surgeon with the Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, recently performed the first surgery in the US using Brainlab’s Dash Smart Instrument Technology–a navigation system designed to run on an iPod Touch in a sterile case.

While operating, Dr. Williams explained, “traditionally we try to eyeball it in until we get it right.” With his new device, Dr. Williams can see a 3-D view of the inside of his patient’s knee. This allows him to more accurately place an implant.

Theoretically, the Dash system will lead to implants that will last longer, decreasing the need for more operations.

This is especially important as the average age of patients requiring joint replacement has decreased and the average lifespan of these patients has increased. The patient, Lee Couch, was excited about the usage of Brainlab’s device despite her lack of enthusiasm for using mobile technology in her personal life.

Although Brainlab is not willing to talk in specifics about price yet, they do say that it is less expensive than alternatives available. In addition, it’s size is clearly an improvement on other imaging methods that require at least a computer and a desk in the operating room.

Of course, the Dash system is not perfect. During the surgery, there were times when surgical instruments got in the way of the probes’ ability to display what Dr. Williams was trying to see. Overall though, the Dash system was successful in improving Dr. Williams’ confidence that the implant was correctly placed. The iMedicalApps team previously reported on iPod Touch assisted orthopedic surgery. The Dash system is another method that will benefit patients via the use of mobile technology.

Source: USA Today