moty avisar and alon geri
Meet Moty Avisar and Alon Geri, co-founders of Surgical Theater
, which applies flight simulation technology to brain surgery. With about 12 employees the company has developed software-based solutions -- The Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP) and more recently, the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP) --
that combine the science of aviation with advanced CT/MRI imaging technology. Surgical Theater’s products enable surgeons to perform real-life "fly throughs" of patient-specific surgeries.
Can you explain what the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP) is?
SNAP is a product that integrates with operating room technology to provide advanced 3-D capabilities and augmented reality, allowing surgeons to enhance their surgery performance. The SNAP, which is pending FDA clearance, provides innovative features that allow surgeons to see behind arteries and other critical structures in the operating room -- something not possible until now.
The SNAP provides neurosurgeons unique virtual-reality guidance to determine the safest and most efficient pathway to remove cerebral tumors and treat vascular anomalies. Surgeons can execute their surgery plans while in the operating room, using a patient’s CT/MRI scans, allowing enhanced accuracy and efficiency. It also provides innovative features that allow surgeons to see behind arteries and other critical structures, something not possible until now.
How does SNAP improve patient outcomes?
SNAP provides surgeons with the ability to see what cannot be seen through the 3D visualization and augmented reality. The SNAP will enrich this experience, providing the ability to rotate the image or make it semi-transparent in order to see what can ordinarily not be seen in the OR, affording for accuracy to be sustained during the complex procedure. Also, SNAP’s augmented reality and simulation capabilities are allowing surgeons to analyze virtual “what if” scenarios before making the actual incision. This precision is enabling surgeons to gain clinical insight that was previously unavailable.
How did you get the idea for this?
As ex-Israeli Air Force R&D Officers, we have much experience and leadership in large scale flight simulator projects. To create The SNAP, we applied the same concepts used behind flight simulators that help pilots practice critical missions to help surgeons rehearse complex surgeries.
Our motivation to create this technology was the desire to utilize our knowledge of building military technology into helping to advance the healthcare technology.
Why is Cleveland an ideal place to launch this technology?
Cleveland is a major hub when it comes to biotechnology, and we’re fortunate to be a part of it. In this region in particular, we have access to some of the most experienced surgeons and influential medical communities in the country to help define, test and refine our products and shape who we are as a company. We started this venture to help save lives and together we are doing just that.
Do you have a memorable success story to share?
To date, Surgical Theater's technology has been utilized in more than 500 surgeries. Surgeons are reporting that the images, as well as the dynamic and interactive modeling of the patients' cerebral tumor and vascular cases, provided by the SRP, are unique in their precision.
This precision is enabling surgeons to gain clinical insight that was previously unavailable and which now allows them to perform enhanced planning and navigation of complex cases.