Saskatoon tech company uses virtual reality to advance healthcare

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Published Friday, March 15, 2019 6:53PM CST


Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 7:18PM CST

Saskatoon tech company Luxsonic is using virtual reality to advance medicine and healthcare.

The technology is designed to help doctors, medical students, and patients become more familiar with hospital practices and the operating room.

With the help of Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Regina General Hospital, the company recorded the province’s first virtual surgery.

“I was in the surgical suite. We had cameras set up doing a 360 video. So what that does is it allows the viewer to be in the space and see all the sights and sounds of the surgery,” said Mike Wesolowski, CEO of Luxsonic Technologies Inc.

The tech company designed the VR surgery for people like nursing students to provide them with the ability to watch a surgery, repeatedly, and learn from it.

VR in medicine has several benefits for people of all ages – including pediatric patients, according to Wesolowski.

Luxsonic is working with Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital to create technology that can walk young patients through the entire hospital experience, before it happens. The goal is to help alleviate anxiety for pediatric patients and their parents.

“We’ve actually recorded the entire process. You walk into the MRI room, you talk to some of the technicians, you go through the entire process all the way to lying down,” Wesolowski said.

He believes doctors who assess the MRI and other medical imaging can benefit too. The company is launching a virtual radiology room wrapped into a single headset.

3-D X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs could help radiologists assess a patient’s health.

Dr. Kavita Kanga finds the portability of the headset intriguing.

“You can be immersed in the radiology field basically anywhere. Sitting at a desk, sitting outside of the office, and you get really good quality images,” said Dr. Kanga, radiologist resident at the University of Saskatchewan.

Luxsonic says it sees virtual reality as the future of communication and education in health care.

With offices in Saskatoon and Toronto, the team hopes to grow globally.

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