AdvanceTech Monitor reports map future of Computer Assisted Surgery, Medical IT and Virtual Reality

Woburn 23 February 2000AdvanceTech Monitor has recently issued three detailed reports, one industry and two focus documents, on the applications of Virtual Reality and computer-assisted technologies in both medical and surgical training, in minimally invasive diagnosis and surgery, non-invasive diagnostic radiology, surgical planning and navigation, telemedicine, rehabilitation, and in related medical areas. The reports have been written by analysts with the expertise and insight required to process the vast body of information on these novel technologies, and to assemble the filtered information into a well-organised comprehensive document. Critical analysis covers technology assessment, clinical applications and commercial opportunities.

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The report key findings seem to predict a bright future for the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in a wide range of medical applications and Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS) in the operating room. As such, over the next decade, significant commercial VR/CAS applications are expected in over 20 areas of medicine and surgery. The dramatic increase in various outpatient surgical procedures and the rising number of outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities creates a substantial market for CAS and VR technologies to reduce costs and personnel requirements. The projected global market for image-guided and automated surgical devices is set at $1.2 billion in 2001.

Major medical schools, dental institutions and teaching hospitals will be the early adopters of innovative VR/CAS procedures. In addition, VR training and certification in medicine and surgery will begin to mirror the role of VR for airline pilots who train on simulators when upgrading their skills. The expense of integrating Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans with surgical planning and navigation restricts these efforts to the largest medical technology centres. Major medical diagnostic companies are likely to become the leading developers of virtual diagnostic technologies. The expense of integrating MRI and CT technology with surgical planning and navigation will require smaller companies to partner with large players for commercialisation of their products.

The authors of the three reports are Stanley A. Shapiro, M.D., Chief Medical Executive of SoftCare Solutions, which is a multimedia health care education company, and Marvin Silverberg, Ph.D., President of Silverberg Consulting, a medical technology consulting firm. Each document has been structured in seven chapters, starting with an executive summary and an introduction to define the different concepts and describe the commercial environment, the market players and users, as well as the advantages and limitations of CAS and VR. Section three consists in a technology review and assessment which offers a short history and a description of the current status, key devices, as well as issues and challenges of VR and CAS implementation.

This is followed by a category survey of medical applications in which these new technologies can be used. Chapter five provides a market analysis of end users, key industry players, third parties, commercialisation issues and strategies, and market forecasts and trends. Section six gives an overview of company profiles, followed by a bibliography, Web links, and product index. The reports were published in December 1999, and are available as a printed hard copy and in electronic format, as a CD-ROM, fully indexed and with an extensive search function. The publisher, AdvanceTech Monitor is a Boston-based technology and business publication company which specialises in the medical, health care, pharmaceutical and energy industries.

Practical information about the reports and ordering details are as follows:

Virtual Reality and Computer-Aided Technologies in Medicine - $4950
250 pages of narrative; 100 exhibits; 100 company profiles with Web links; 200 Web links to research sources
Computer-Assisted Surgical Technologies - $2490
150 pages of narrative; 50 exhibits; 50 company profiles with Web links; 100 Web links to research sources
Virtual Reality Based Medical Technologies - $2490
150 pages of narrative; 50 exhibits; 50 company profiles with Web links; 100 Web links to research sources
The reports can be ordered from Dr. Mike Silver.


Leslie Versweyveld

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