Brainlab, a digital medical technology company, announced an expanded collaboration outlining initiatives in their ongoing work with the AO Foundation. Signed at the annual AO Trustees Meeting—held this year in Sydney, Australia—the collaboration showcases both parties’ dedication to advancing medical education, delivering on a shared belief that immersive education is the catalyst for change in surgical practice and improved patient outcomes.
Incorporating Brainlab technology into AO courses will increase knowledge acquisition, enhance decision making and improve the coordination of skills, all within a safe and engaging setting. The AO will leverage Brainlab technology, including Mixed Reality Viewer, for craniomaxillofacial (CMF) and spine and trauma education. This platform provides an immersive experience for physicians by offering 3D visualization of medical images, allowing the user to interact with 2D images and corresponding 3D patient models. Signature AO events, e.g., AO Davos Courses and AO regional events, will be equipped with this advanced training offering that features Brainlab Spine and CMF Elements software for pre-operative planning and case review.
The AO, Brainlab and its subsidiary, Level Ex, are working to accelerate the adoption of new skills and techniques using video game technology. Using Level Ex technology, the parties will transform AO clinical guidelines into game mechanics that will feature accurate, physics-based simulations. They will also collaborate on a new spine surgery video game—with a dedicated curriculum focused on instilling the expert skills needed for successful spine procedures using the neuroscience of play.
Speaking on the partnership, Founder & CEO of Brainlab, Stefan Vilsmeier, said:
Brainlab and the AO have worked together for decades and are mutually dedicated to accelerating the adoption of new technology and clinical workflows to improve patient outcomes globally. We’re excited to expand our collaboration and have a shared vision to create an Extended Reality Center for Immersive Surgical Education.
The AO is committed to collaborating with Brainlab on an AO-recommended surgical navigation workflow for spinal procedures. The focus will be on training to achieve the best accuracy at every step of the spinal procedure to improve patient outcomes. The solution relies on high imaging quality and precise pre-planning supported by AI-driven anatomical mapping and patient registration. In addition, the workflow will focus on navigated instrumentation that aims to decrease pressure on the spine further to increase accuracy and address the specific challenges of the cervical spine. The AO plans to introduce this workflow and associated technology into certain activities within the AO Education Institute and the AO Technical Commission.
As a pioneer of digital medical technology, Munich-based Brainlab explores and identifies new possibilities to develop the best possible treatments for patients. Its innovative digital ecosystem forms the basis for modern healthcare technology in 6,300 hospitals in 120 countries. The company employs around 2,200 people with expertise across the healthcare value chain in 25 locations worldwide.
Prof. Dr Florian Gebhard, President of the AO, added:
Since the 1990s, the AO and Brainlab have worked together on various projects focusing on computer-guided applications. Teaching has been, is and will be the major focus in the AO—today, we are excited to start the integration of ‘extended reality’ in our teaching offerings with our strong partner, Brainlab. We expect a huge impact on our learner experience using this technology. In parallel, the respective Technical Commission Expert Group will evaluate options for clinical extended reality applications, together with Brainlab, following our mission to improve patient care outcomes.
The AO aims to promote excellence in patient care and trauma and musculoskeletal disorders outcomes. It covers different specialist areas, brought together into one global community, network, and powerhouse of goodness focused on improving patient care. The platform has a worldwide network of over 520,000 healthcare professionals. It offers over 870 educational events worldwide, supported by nearly 8,000 faculty and attended by over 82,000 participants. The firm has around 20,000 surgeon members working in trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, veterinary, and reconstructive surgery.