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The OR of the future is here today

iPads, iPhones, laptop computers and more. No, this isn’t an electronics store; it’s an operating room (OR) at the University of Minnesota.

Today’s OR’s look a little bit different than what you might have seen in the past. The standard OR tools are still in use today, of course, but other technological advances are steadily making their way into practice.

Andrew Grande, M.D., an assistant professor within the Department of Neurosurgery – and an electronics and technology enthusiast – is finding new ways to use everyday gadgets to improve the most complicated and challenging neurosurgeries.  In doing so, he’s also providing his patients with the best available treatment options.

One of Grande’s most important tools during surgery is the Möller-Wedel microscope, which provides high-quality images during surgery. One thing about his Möller-Wedel microscope that’s unique is that Grande has retrofitted a Hollywood-quality video lens into the microscope. Grand also utilizes picture-in-picture (PIP) throughout the surgery, something not every surgeon is utilizing.  But with PIP capability, Grande can access textbook materials, diagrams, presentations and other valuable literature that can aid in his surgical approach.

In his microscope PIP view, Grande can also access the Internet and use secure video conferencing software to connect with other colleagues, doctors and surgeons across the country and the world.

“A lot of what we’re doing now is thinking outside the box. We’re taking the best from Hollywood, the best from the digital photography world and bringing those cameras here which are really pushing us into new frontiers that we haven’t been to before with the microscope,” said Grande.

In the future, Grande believes these technological advances will continue to improve patient care and surgeon education.

“This project, which began as a way to use really nice cameras and take good pictures has turned into perhaps a very applicable, clinically relevant advance.”

  1. November 8, 2012 8:58 pm | Janelle Says:

    This is incredible! Great story and video.

  2. November 9, 2012 8:29 am | Marion Burch Says:

    A practical innovation with exciting potential to improve outcomes and save lives, plus a video that tells the story quickly and clearly. Great news for the medical community and patients around the world.

  3. November 9, 2012 1:44 pm | Betsey Says:

    I hope I never need this technology, but it’s great that it’s available at our own U of M.

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