One could forgive the folks at InnerOptic Technology if they chose to pop a few champagne corks at their Hillsborough offices on Tuesday.
The privately held company that is developing technology developed at UNC-Chapel Hill received word that the Food and Drug Administration has cleared for sale what InnerOptic calls a "GPS" for surgeons - a 3D visualization system to guide needle-based medical procedures that utilize ultrasound.
Appropriately enough, the system is called AIM.
“We are pleased to have received FDA clearance for AIM, with such a broad indication for use” said Brian Heaney, InnerOptic’s CEO. “We look forward to working with our customers in the release of AIM-guided products.”
Surgeons, radiologists and other physicians can deploy the AIM system to better guide needles for biopsies and other procedures.
InnerOptic believes AIM will improve needle placement, helping reduce the need for multiple "stabs." Needle errors produce some $1 billion a year in patient injuries a year, according to the company.
As InnerOptic explains it, "AIM continually monitors the 3D positions of the needle and ultrasound transducer, and provides the physician with an intuitive stereoscopic view of their spatial relationship in real time."
Doctors can see on screen real-time 3D avatars.
AIM software is integrated with a number of scanners and devices from firms such as BK Medical, Aloka, Halt Medical and Microsulis.
AIM also was used in a clinical trial at the Carolinas Medical Center.
The company launched in 2003. The FDA approved an earlier InnerOptic system in 2009.
In May, InnerOptic and Kitware received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help fund Phase II trials of a new tumor treatment system.
InnerOptic focuses on 3D visualization for image-guided procedures. Kitware works on open-source software and solutions development. The two announced receipt of the Phase II SBIR funding from the NIH for the development of a needle guidance system for hepatic tumor ablation.
The operating-room-ready system is intended to provide 3D visualizations for needle guidance in soft tissues.
Published originally on CED publishing partner WRAL Tech Wire.