Empowering Doctors with X-ray Vision! SURGLASSES Develops Smart Surgical Glasses to Address Orthopedic Surgery Challenges

Empowering Doctors with X-ray Vision! SURGLASSES Develops Smart Surgical Glasses to Address Orthopedic Surgery Challenges

Photographed by Cai Renyi

For years, orthopedic surgeons have faced challenges in locating incision points and trauma sites directly from the external body. To accurately perform surgery, they heavily rely on extensive X-ray imaging and screen assistance during procedures. Surgeons often need to constantly turn their heads to refer to screens placed beside them to confirm the incision points. This "hand-eye disparity" surgical method makes orthopedic surgeries extremely difficult. "Precision" has always been the most challenging aspect of orthopedic surgery because the surgical scope is very small, and even a fraction of a centimeter error during surgery can lead to severe consequences such as paralysis or arterial damage.

To address this issue, SURGLASSES established in 2017, developed the world's first pair of head-mounted smart surgical glasses. Through VR (virtual reality), MR (Mixed Reality), and 3D imaging technologies, surgeons can visualize accurate skeletal and tissue images on the patient, reducing the complexity of surgery without the need to repeatedly check screen images and X-ray data.

Led by founder and CEO Wang Minliang, the team consists of engineers and clinical physicians dedicated to developing innovative medical devices. They focus on developing high-end medical equipment and software, including medical software development and design, medical electronic equipment, 3D medical visual imaging, human anatomy diagrams, and other solutions and products in the medical industry. They aim to bring revolutionary breakthroughs to global medical imaging processing technology in the future.

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The team has developed the world's first pair of head-mounted smart surgical glasses.

Creating specialized smart surgical glasses to address the challenges in orthopedic surgery.

Over the past thirty years, due to the invention of endoscopes, including in orthopedics, gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and abdominal surgery, surgeons have had to perform surgery while looking at screens. "Hand-eye coordination" should be an instinctive aspect of performing any task well, but in medicine, doctors are forced to perform highly precise surgeries under such "discoordination," which is not easy.

Wang Liangmin said, "Many patients undergoing orthopedic surgery must sign waivers before surgery because the risks are too high. If a surgeon makes even the slightest error, the patient could be paralyzed."

The team developed the world's first smart surgical glasses solution (Foresee-X) to address this issue. The first-generation Foresee-X product is primarily used in orthopedic trauma surgery. It utilizes VR technology and the principle of perspective to combine the surgeon's "field of view" with the "surgical field." Orthopedic surgeons no longer need to rely heavily on radiographic instruments and computer screens during surgery. They can now focus their attention back on the patient.

When wearing the smart surgical glasses, images and data of the patient's tissues and bones are displayed directly in the surgeon's field of vision. Additionally, the glasses can overlay preoperative patient data with intraoperative images in real-time, allowing for more precise incisions and significantly reducing the risk of surgery.

As a result, the smart surgical glasses address the problem of the surgical field in orthopedics, eliminating the need for surgeons to constantly switch between viewing screens and performing surgery. Reducing reliance on medical imaging and screen assistance can reduce surgery time by approximately 30%, providing significant benefits for patients.

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Through VR (Virtual Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) technologies, images and data of the patient's tissues and bones are displayed inside the glasses.

In addition, in the past, in order to maximize the accuracy of orthopedic surgery, doctors had to use a large number of imaging devices such as CT scans, X-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. A single surgery required as many as 200 to 300 X-rays, exposing medical personnel to radiation for extended periods, resulting in occupational hazards. However, using smart surgical glasses can significantly reduce the frequency of radiation imaging required during surgery, reducing the average radiation exposure time for orthopedic medical staff by about 70% and also decreasing the probability of cancer caused by radiation exposure for patients.

However, Wang Liangming said that although smart surgical glasses have addressed the above issues, they still have limitations. For example, they cannot guide and locate soft tissues during surgery because soft tissues constantly change appearance during the surgical process. Therefore, if misalignment occurs during orthopedic surgery, traditional methods must still be used, including using C-arm radiation to realign the model.

Two major advantages: Practical product and precise verticality to customers.

Wang Liangmin emphasized the advantages of their solution lie in its "practicality" and "precise targeting to the customer," which he considers crucial in the medical device industry.

Focusing on "surgical guidance" technology, it holds strong appeal and substantial assistance for clinical doctors, making surgical procedures more intuitive and convenient. Wang Liangmin stated, "Our smart surgical glasses are tangible solutions that effectively address frontline doctors' pain points, rather than making empty promises."

Currently, the smart glasses have evolved to the second generation, Caduceus. Specifically designed for spine surgery, Caduceus features QR CORD and MARK alignment markers, allowing all medical personnel to view the 3D surgical field from their perspectives. Moreover, it incorporates MR precise surgical positioning technology, serving as a GPS for spine surgeons during operations, enabling precise localization of incision sites within a 2mm margin of error.

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"For doctors, using smart glasses is like a seamless transition, allowing surgical procedures to be conducted more intuitively. Even if the patient is not fully exposed, the surgeon knows where to make the incisions. This epitomizes minimally invasive surgery," said Wang Minliang. Currently, Caduceus has been successfully implemented for trials in hospitals such as National Taiwan University Hospital, Tzu Chi Hospital, and Taichung Providence University Hospital.

Being based in Taiwan provides us with a global perspective on the market.

The team's smart surgical glasses have obtained the medical device license from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA). In order to engage with industry professionals, they have actively participated in numerous domestic and international industry-related exhibitions since their establishment. Through their participation in these exhibitions, they have gained opportunities for collaboration with Photomedic Solution Sdn Bhd, an imaging analysis company in Malaysia, and KPJ APSH Hospital. Upon obtaining the sales qualification certificate by the end of this year, they plan to deepen their collaboration and testing efforts, scaling up their operations accordingly.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iN3_HPdDbcU?enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmeet.bnext.com.tw台灣骨王與馬來西亞影像分析業者Photomedic Solution Sdn Bhd以及KPJ APSH醫院的合作機會

Regarding this collaboration, Wang Ming-liang chuckled and said, "To be honest, we didn't expect such high acceptance in Malaysia at the beginning."

"Malaysian hospitals have a strong desire for new technology," Wang Ming-liang said, noting that many new doctors in Malaysian hospitals are eager to embrace new technologies. However, he also mentioned that medical equipment is not easy to implement in any country because it requires approval from local government agencies, which involves complex and time-consuming processes. Even in Taiwan, it took them at least six months to obtain approval.

"We use Taiwan as our base and development center, but our market is global, and we proceed step by step," Wang Ming-liang explained. So far, Taiwan Bone King's smart surgical glasses and related technological products have expanded to India, Turkey, Malaysia, and they have also signed letters of intent with agents in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In the future, they plan not only to apply this technology in orthopedic surgery but also in neurology, traditional Chinese medicine, and ophthalmology. They also hope to use smart surgical glasses technology in medical education to help students experience surgical procedures firsthand, thereby shortening the learning and understanding process.

The founder and CEO of Taiwan Bone King is Mr. Wang Liangming.
Image Source: Photograph by Tsai Ren-yi

Quick Questions and Answers on Entrepreneurship

Q:Where did the idea for the service come from? What happened that gave rise to the idea?
To improve the surgical procedure during clinic and development of the smart glasses in research project then to build the business of high-end medical equiment.

Q:What value do you hope to provide to this society? What problem do you hope to solve?
The leading of innovative medical products and help both surgeons and patients for better outcome.

Q:What are the three things you have done best since starting your business so far?
1. Sale my house and invest all in the company.
2. Let surgeons know how we can help them to improve surgical outcome.
3. marketing of the smart surgical glasses.

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