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June 7, 2017

First mixed reality livestream of neurosurgical procedure at Helsinki University

Nokia has partnered with Helsinki University Hospital, Finland for the world’s first ‘mixed reality’ neurosurgical live streaming. The procedure was livestreamed from the university hospital to approximately 100 neurosurgeons, using Nokia’s OZO Live to provide a more immersive view of the surgery and operating room coordination.

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The live streaming trial with 360 degree 3D camera’s was part of the  joint project ‘Media meets Medicine’, which was completed in collaboration with Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) Neurosurgery Department, a world-leading department for its expertise in all subsections of neurosurgery.  

VR advancing healthcare

Nokia OZO was used to deliver the new, live broadcast mixed reality experience of a neurosurgery operation using the OZO Reality Platform and viewed on OZO Player SDK. Nokia sees virtual reality completely transforming how people can experience the world together; the live streaming at HUH showcases how virtual reality can advance the healthcare industry by delivering an immersive experience, regardless of the location of the viewers.

The experience consists of the stereoscopic 360 degree OZO camera live stream with spatial audio, complemented by interactive microscope and graphics overlays. The Nokia OZO system delivered a live view from the operating theatre to the participants of a live demonstration course in operative microneurosurgery at the Helsinki University Hospital on 6-7 June as part of the the 17th Helsinki Live Demonstration Course in Operative Microneurosurgery .

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Limitless observers

"Normally, only up to 10-15 external observers can fit in an operating theatre in addition to the operating team,” explains Professor Mika Niemelä, Chief of Department at HUH Neurosurgery.
“When using Nokia OZO Live streaming we could have limitless observers from around the world and they can all feel as if they were there."

"HUH wants to be a forerunner in exploring, identifying and demonstrating novel opportunities in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality domains, and drive concept creation for future virtual and  augmented reality in medical context. We are really happy that we can cooperate with the Nokia team, who are pioneers in this area," says Miikka Korja, Neurosurgeon at HUH Neurosurgery and Chief Innovation Officer at Helsinki University Hospital.

Getting to know new technology

"We are pleased to work alongside a leading neurosurgical department in the world," says Kiti Müller, Neurologist, Medical Expert and Principal Researcher at the Digital Health Lab at Nokia Technologies. "The cooperation enables medical doctors in different expert areas to get to know the latest technology, including a totally new way of sharing medical expertise."

Paul Melin, VP of Digital Media at Nokia Technologies, adds he believes the cooperation to be an excellent example of using Nokia OZO solutions to create and share an immersive experience for educational purposes. 

HUH Neurosurgery is world-famous for its expertise in all subsections of neurosurgery. It is considered the leading center in Europe in the microneurosurgical treatment of cerebral blood vessel diseases and complex brain tumors, and is also ranked among the very best units in the world.

Need for education in VR

The need to train surgeons in a scalable way is great, Dr. Shafi Ahmed stated not for the first time last October. The surgeon at the Royal London and St. Bartholomew’s hospitals is cofounder of Medical Realities, a company developing a new virtual reality platform for surgical training. He imagines being able to train thousands of surgeons simultaneously in virtual reality. At the Exponential Medicine conference, he painted a vivid picture of the need for a scalable surgical education.

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