Research Spotlight

Surgical Navigation by Tablet

Steinbeis team developing ingenious system to maturity

SurgeryPad is a digital navigation system that allows a conventional tablet computer to be used in operating rooms as a mobile recording and playback device. Using the tool ensures precise tissue incision and treatment. Designed for use in procedures such as tumor removal, the system was created as part of a research project at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg and is now being developed to maturity by the experts at the mbits Steinbeis Transfer Center.

SurgeryPad helps surgeons carry out minimally invasive operations that require precise spatial knowledge of the patient’s anatomy, including tumor structures and other risk structures. 2D imaging methods such as ultrasound and X-rays are inadequate for this purpose due to their poor image quality and lack of depth. SurgeryPad overcomes this hurdle by using augmented reality technology that allows 3D structures – digitally reconstructed prior to the operation based on computer tomography or magnetic resonance tomography data – to be superimposed onto live video footage of the patient. During surgery, the tablet films the surface of the patient’s body and superimposes the 3D structures onto the video image in real time with exact precision, so the surgeon knows where the tumor and other risk structures are located before making the first incision. This reduces complications, shortens surgery time, and avoids unnecessary X-ray exposure.

The mbits Steinbeis Transfer Center specializes in advanced mobile radiology solutions. In addition to SurgeryPad, it is also developing MITK pocket – a secure mobile radiological image viewer that allows images to be analyzed outside the hospital or practice.

Better Conformity with Environmental Law

New “risk radar” added to Steinbeis software solution

The high volume of environmental legislation and frequent changes in this legislation pose challenges for companies. Enormous efforts are often required to ensure conformity with environmental law and to pass environmental audits. Compliance Center Professional (CCPro), a software solution developed by the Steinbeis Innovation Center for Information Systems for Responsible Organizations (IVO), lets companies efficiently and verifiably complete all key information and documentation management tasks and make decisions needed to ensure conformity with environmental law.

With CCPro, the extent to which compliance management tasks have been completed can be determined at any time via standard evaluations and analyses. The program’s company-specific legal register lists all legal standards that are important for the company along with their current relevance. Employees can use the access-controlled system to securely complete all necessary control, supervisory, data management and documentation tasks using the central database.

Comprehensive testing of CCPro at a Heilbronn-based manufacturing company in the chemical industry has spawned many new ideas for how to expand the basic software. In the coming months, the Steinbeis experts will explore novel approaches to data analysis for use in a “risk radar” to be added to the software. The risk radar gives companies even greater confidence in their adherence to all relevant environmental obligations, and helps protect the company and all other stakeholders from damage. A customizable dashboard will display key figures and risk indicators in the form of graphics, making it possible to see weaknesses, oversights and deadline violations at a glance, and introduce the necessary measures in good time.

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