Project Coordinator – University of Pisa, Italy. The project will be carried out by the technical staff of the Department of Information Engineering and the Centre of Excellence EndoCAS for Computer Assisted Surgery, founded with funds from MIUR (Ministry of University and Research) with Ministerial Decree of 17 October 2003, prot. n. 193/2003, under the call “co-financing Centres of Excellence, Bando 2001.”

 
EndoCAS is today a research and education laboratory of the Department of Translational Research and of New Surgical and Medical Technologies of the University of Pisa.

The Centre EndoCAS consists of two buildings (EndoCAS-Research and EndoCAS-Education) close one to another. About 250 square meters each, which share a common reception area and a meeting room. EndoCAS Research has two laboratories for research and development, an experimental operating room used for in-vitro testing of prototypes and an electronics laboratory. There are carried out research activities.

EndoCAS Education, is equipped with simulators and multimedia classrooms for lectures and training activities.

The mission of EndoCAS-Research is to develop breakthrough technologies based on engineering and information technologies to improve the current surgical procedures and reduce their invasiveness mainly by means of an optimal use of medical imaging. The research areas addressed by the Centre are:

-Development of segmentation software for the generation of patient specific 3D models;

-Surgical navigation systems for mininvasive treatments;

-Augmented Reality for surgical guidance of and surgical simulators;

-Surgical simulators development;

-Surgical simulators validation;

EndoCAS applies computer assisted surgery (CAS) systems to demonstrate their effectiveness and encourages their market exploitation, offers analysis of the effectiveness and cost-benefit ratio and validation of both commercial and custom-made systems. their role will be focused on VOSTARS design and integration. From the technical standpoint, their role will be crucial in the definition of the most appropriate tracking methods and on the definition of the ergonomics of the virtual content in relation to the surgical task on which VOSTARS will be assessed. They will help defining user requirements, and coordinate the clinical trials.

 

Scopis GmbH, Germany (Industrial Partner) develops and markets surgical navigation systems for minimally-invasive Ear-Nose-Throat, Cranio-Maxillo-Facial and neurosurgical procedures. Scopis’ systems help lower both the duration of surgery and the risk of clinical complications, which leads to a reduction of time and costs.

Major technologies developed by Scopis include:

  • Scopis Hybrid Navigation allows the parallel use of optical and electromagnetic measuring technology during live surgery.
  • Scopis Augmented Reality visualizes navigations data directly in the endoscope video image. Deviations from the designated surgical path are signalized visually and acoustically.

Scopis GmbH is uniquely suited to add industrial and surgical experience to the VOSTARS consortium. Scopis has a strong R&D character with project experience to bring Augmented Reality solutions into the operating room in combination with endoscopes, microscopes, ultrasound devices, C-arm fluroscopy and 3D endoscopy. Scopis has successfully defined, developed, implemented, produced technology for the surgical workplace by bringing focus and real-world experience into several high-profile research collaborations.

Over 100 Scopis surgical navigation systems have been sold world-wide and Scopis products are being distributed in more than 50 countries. Scopis GmbH was founded in 2010 by German research society Fraunhofer and Charité University Hospital ‘s and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.: significant expertise in the development of surgical navigation systems with augmented reality visualization modalities. Their industrial role will help defining image-to-patient intraoperative registration modalities compatible with the clinical workflow. Finally, their role is key to ensure success of the VOSTARS project, in view of the strong industrial commitment that is to emerge throughout the proposal. They will also take care of the certification issues and final user needs.

 

Optinvent, France (Industrial Partner). Optinvent S.A. is a French company that designs and delivers display modules and AR glasses for next generation AR & Mobile applications. The company is shipping right now its ORA-1 Smart Glasses for enterprise and developers. ORA-1 is produced in Rennes France and shipped all around the world. The product is used for several industrial applications such as Logistic, Maintenance, Healthcare, etc. The company was founded in February 2007 and is based in Rennes, France. Optinvent concentrates on developing innovative optical technologies that it packages into Smart glasses hardware platform as inside display modules which in turn are sold to international OEM’s for integration into finished products. The company is targeting applications such as see-through AR glasses for mobile, informative and personal navigation as for professional applications. There have been eleven international patent filings to protect the Clear-Vu technology, Four of them are already granted.

 

CEA Leti, France (research laboratory in microelectronics and nanotechnology). CEA-LETI is dedicated to strengthening the competitive position of companies by providing leading edge technological innovation and transfer of the developed Know How. LETI features more than 8000 m² of upper class clean room and state of the art 200 mm and 300 mm equipment worth over 220 M€. Total headcount is c.1500 and annual turnover is 175 M€. Main focus is on micro- and nanotechnologies for microelectronics, microsystems, biology, and communication. LETI has initiated the MINATEC European Innovation Centre for Micro and Nanotechnology and will muster over 4000 people from Education to Research and Industry.

The Optics and Photonics Department has longstanding expertise and recognition in advanced hybridization techniques necessary to pilot individually the LED pixels in emissive microdisplays. Hybridization techniques have been developed for many years, mainly for IR and visible imagers, where CEA-LETI has been recognized as a world leader.

The CEA-LETI emissive microdisplay activity started with the development of OLED microdisplays. The team has more than 10 years’ experience both in device physics and process development for OLEDs and benefits from a state-of-the-art 200mm OLED line now integrated in the Grenoble MINATEC centre. The total investment over this period represents more than 20 M€. It has received worldwide recognition for its outstanding technology.

Thanks to a broad range of integrated competencies in material sciences, micro and nano-fabrication technologies, device physics and device integration into systems, CEA-LETI is a key partner to supply innovative microdisplays and help for integration in systems in this project.

 

 

Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany.

The Forschergruppe Augmented Reality (FAR) at the Department of Informatics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) conducts research based upon the vision of Ubiquitous Augmented Reality, stating that real, robust applications will consist of hybrid combinations of mobile and ubiquitous tracking, display and interaction technologies, thereby combining the fields of ubiquitous computing and wearable computing with augmented reality. One research focus of FAR lies on the development, use and fusion of diverse tracking and calibration technologies in sensor networks for accurate world-to-display registration. To this end, we have developed the Ubitrack framework, as well as a large number of specialized algorithms that focus particularly on the calibration of HMD-mounted sensors and display elements.

 

VREO, UK (Industrial Partner). VREO design and manufacture video technology products specializing in interfacing miniature cameras over USB3.0. VREO has the skills necessary to develop the synchronized miniature cameras and the interface electronics to stream the data effectively from both the external cameras and internal cameras in the proposal.

 

 

University of Bologna, Italy (Clinical trials). In particular the Maxillofacial Unit of the University Hospital of Bologna will be involved in the prohect.  The Maxillofacial Unit provide clinical and surgical service for the area of cranio-maxillofacial surgery; we perform research in the field of facial skeletal and soft tissue surgery for malformations, dismorfosis, tumors (benign and malignant), trauma, preprosthetic bone reconstruction. Our main fields of research are related to the clinical and surgical application of computed surgical planning, computer-assisted surgery (navigation), CAD-CAM patient’s specific devices, augmented reality and endoscopy.

 

 

 

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany (Clinical trials). The Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of Europe’s leading medical school and one of the largest Medical Centers.

Pediatric Neurosurgery is a specialized unit within the Charité delivering care for neurological diseases which are treatable with surgical means. Among them congenital malformations of the skull the spine and the central nervous system, brain tumors in adolescence and cerebro-spinal fluid dynamic disturbances are the most frequent treated entities of diseases. The unit is one of the largest units in Europe. All of the diseases are rare entities requiring not only interdisciplinary care but also very individualized surgical approaches in complex anatomical conditions. Surgical navigation plays an essential role to deliver adequate quality of interventions and enable a good outcome for the patients in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Thus a high degree of experience using different kind of systems was developed in the unit over the past 20 years. Moreover, Navigation was an important topic of research in the unit to further develop the specific needs for the surgeon and the patients, accordingly.

 

Sankt Gertrauden Krankenhaus, Berlin, Germany (Clinical trials). The Sankt Gertrauden Krankenhaus GmbH is an academic teaching hospital of Charité University Medicine Berlin. The spectrum of medical specialities includes all surgical fields as well as internal and geriatric medicine. A very high standard of technical equipment is maintained and all modern treatment modalities are performed. Several department are included in clinical trials and studies.

 

 

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. The Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) is one of the five Italian special status university institutions, also called “Scuole Universitarie Superiori” that hold a unique position within the Italian higher education system. It is a public university in its own right, which carries out research and education in applied sciences. In VOSTARS the Institute of Management (IdM) will be involved. The Institute of Management  of SSSA includes professors and researchers from the fields of economics, management, engineering and political science. The IdM has an interdisciplinary expertise in different innovation domains including: health economics, new business model management, internationalization of production and investments in innovation, strategic management of Intellectual Property, green technologies assessment, sustainable supply-chain management and stakeholder engagement. The IdM has considerable experience in the identification and analysis of drivers for sustainability and competitiveness in ICT, energy, environmental services, life sciences, and particularly in health. Furthermore, the IdM has carried out several projects, funded by EC Programme such as FP VII; CIP – Eco Innovation, Life plus, Intelligent Energy Europe, EC framework contracts.

In the Institute of Management people combine their expertise in order to increase the opportunities for cross-fertilisation of their research and knowledge. Research carried out by the IdM is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach, by an empirical orientation and by a commitment to theory building.

The Health Economics (HE) group within Institute of Management, directed by Prof. Giuseppe Turchetti, through a scientific method and with a strong interdisciplinary approach, is devoted to the evaluation and assessment of new technologies and procedures relevant to surgery, minimally invasive therapy, pharmacological treatment in a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) perspective.

The HE group analyzes the relevant topics in:

  • the innovation process, the evaluation, the adoption, and the diffusion of medical/technological innovations;
  • the economic and organizational impact of eHealth;
  • the organization and management of very complex healthcare and long-term care programs and procedures;
  • economic evaluation models as cost effectiveness, cost utility, cost benefit and social cost studies;
  • the financing of health care and long-term care programs.

 

Pilotfish, Germany (Industrial Partner). Pilotfish is a design and innovation consultancy based in Munich, Berlin and Amsterdam with a branch office in Taipei. Pilotfish is specialised in the development of intelligent products and services for the professional electronics, medical and transportation industries, supporting clients with integrated design services that cover the entire product development process.

Pilotfish’ work includes design research and strategy, user experience design, industrial design, user interaction design, user interface design, service design, tech demos, prototyping and mechanical engineering. Pilotfish also acts as hub of innovation for start-ups and technology providers looking for the right partners to realise their product or service ideas in meaningful ways for end users.

Founded in 2000, Pilotfish has long-time experience in working for the electronics industry with clients including Bayer, Berlin Heart, Biotronik, BMW/MINI, Bosch, ERT, Hansaton Akustik, Ganshorn, Honeywell, Samsung, Siemens and TNI medical. Pilotfish’ work is regularly acknowledged for its design excellence by independent international juries, including the Good Design, IDEA, iF and red dot awards.

Pilotfish brings in expertise in innovation, product development, and the creation of innovative user experiences, tech demos and prototypes for demonstration purposes. Working in multidisciplinary teams, Pilotfish integrates user interaction/experience design and industrial design in a holistic process to enable the creation of coherent and enticing new user experiences.

Pilotfish’ special skills lie in the development of innovative and marketable product solutions and applications for new technologies. In addition, Pilotfish has profound knowledge of different production methods and is capable of consulting on the producibility of product concepts.

Pilotfish is involved in numerous research and development projects, amongst others in cooperation with the Munich University of Technology (TUM), Delft University of Technology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Charitße University Hospital Berlin, and the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan (ITRI).