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Kitware Receives Phase-I Grant for Research on Robot-Assisted Prostate Surgery

NIBIB, a unique joint initiative has awarded Kitware funding for the first phase of the research on robot assisted prostate surgery. NIBIB is a joint venture between The National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation.

Kitware will be concentrating on developing a prototype for augmented reality visualization .which will enhance the effectiveness and safety robotic prostrate surgery. For developing the prototype, Kitware will first build a human/machine collaborative system (HMCS) which will equip surgeons with an augmented reality (AR) view. The HMCS will integrate the prior to surgery MRI model of the tumour, prostate,and the surrounding tissues with the laparoscopic video provided by the da Vinci system. This combined view will compensate for the non-rigid prostate tissue deformation received from the images taken by intra-operative transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). The AR system will aid the surgeons in perceiving multi-modality information with more effectiveness and hence perform the robotic prostatectomy more accurately.

Typically, surgeons depend on receiving tactile feedback and visual data while performing surgeries. Therefore, it becomes important to receive clear images for effective guidance during surgery. The technical lead at Kitware explained that the research was mainly focussed on providing surgeons clear visual assistance during robotic prostatectomy procedures for more accurate outcomes. The results of this research programme will equip surgeons with images using which they can pin-point specific prostate areas and perform safer and more accurate surgeries.

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