The next time you are wheeled into the operating room, don't be surprised to see the surgeon toting an iPod touch. Before you try to scramble out of your gurney, he or she will most likely be using the portable media player to assist with the surgery, not rock out to some tunes while you are under the knife. According to a report out of Welt Online, an iPod-based system has been developed by German doctors and is being used in surgical procedures that require the precision only a computer can provide.
The report notes that the iPod could replace conventional computer-based imaging systems that are wheeled into operating rooms. These older systems can be as large as refrigerators and cost a whopping 200,000 Euros. They require a monitor and can be cumbersome to use as the doctor has to shift his gaze back and forth from the patient to the monitor. With an iPod-based system, the handheld device can be held directly next to the surgeon and the patient. Not only compact and portable, the iPod-based surgical system is also much less expensive than the traditional systems, costing on average 50,000 Euros.
Orthopedist Holger Bäthisin is one of the doctors who has used the iPod during surgery and has this to say about the system: "The joint anatomy is recorded, digitized, the data will go to the camera system - the calculations are in milliseconds to me via iPod. It works wirelessly with wireless, so no more tripping over here in the operating room. " He further adds, "We have achieved excellent results."
According to the report, the iPod is being used in a pilot program at the Municipal Hospital of Merheim and at an unnamed hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides orthopedics, the iPod-driven system could also be used in neurosurgery, ENT and facial surgery where exact precision is required.
Thanks to reader el3ktro for sending this in!