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Patient undergoing surgery with
the augmented reality technology

First surgery performed with the Microsoft/Novarad augmented reality platform

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
The first surgical procedure using Microsoft’s HoloLens and Novarad Corporation’s OpenSight Augmented Reality System was recently performed to alleviate back and leg pain associated with disk herniation.

“People have performed some work with 3D models and simulations,” Dr. Wendell Gibby, CEO of Novarad and the neurologist who performed the surgery, said in a statement. “We had some papers recently at the American Society of Neuroradiology about this, but it's the first time we've tried it on a patient.”

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OpenSight: See 3D Medical Images using Augmented Reality from Novarad on Vimeo.


The OpenSight software uses the HoloLens technology to register MR or CT images over the patient in real time. This allows the user to both see the patient and through them, with dynamic holograms of their internal anatomy.

It leverages a range of advanced technologies including 3-D imaging, segmentation and rendering, registration, motion correction, virtual tools and 3-D annotation technologies. It’s challenging to find things surgically, but the ability to see three-dimensionally can help greatly, according to Gibby.

“We are using cutting-edge augmented reality to display a 3-D version of a patient’s anatomy on the actual patient,” said Steve Cvetko, director of research and development at Novarad. “It offers a true, life-size rendering with exact alignment and orientation, which is valuable for medical education, research and, of course, surgery.”

Novarad first unveiled the HoloLens augmented reality platform at the last year’s Radiological Society of North America annual meeting. The company held live demonstrations of the technology to the attendees.

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