Surgical Theater, a company that merges flight simulation technology with brain surgery, has launched a Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP) to provide neurosurgeons with virtual-reality guidance in the operating room. The technology is expected to receive FDA clearance by mid-year, and was on display for the first time at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco from April 7 to 9.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based start-up develops software solutions to allow surgeons to prerehearse delicate procedures. Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP), the company’s first product, received FDA clearance in February 2013 and uses an individual’s CT and MRI scans, 3D imaging technology, and augmented reality to construct a patient-specific model for surgical planning purposes. The SNAP extends that plan into the operating room, allowing physicians to refer to the pathway during surgery and see behind arteries and critical structures.

“In complex brain surgeries using the SNAP provides the ability to rotate the ‘landscape’ or make it semi-transparent, and see what you can’t see,” said Joshua Bederson, chairman of the neurosurgery department at Mount Sinai Hospital and a participant in the SNAP design and validation process. “The SNAP’s augmented reality features allow for accuracy to be maintained throughout the procedure and for simulation of all phases of complex surgeries. This device is a very important innovation which could have a significant role in improving outcomes and making surgeries safer.”

SRP software has been installed in a number of research hospitals, including the UCLA Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and others.

For more information, visit Surgical Theater.