In conjunction with imaging modalities and software, the sensors continuously report their location on a graphical display that serves as a roadmap guiding a physician's instrument to a target within the human body. With microBIRD and advanced imaging systems, clinicians can literally "see" inside the human body.
A limiting factor in the widespread use of 3D guidance devices in minimally invasive surgery and procedures has always been inaccuracies in sensor measurements caused by the disturbance of magnetic sensor measurements by nearby metals: conductive and ferrous.
Ascension's pulsed DC magnetic tracking technology overcomes distortions caused by common "conductive" hospital metals, such as stainless steel, titanium and aluminum, but until now ferrous metals like steel and iron alloys have presented a problem. The introduction of Ascension's new planar - flat - transmitter solves the ferrous metal problem. The device not only generates a clean magnetic field above a patient, but also negates any distortion in measurements caused by ferrous metals in OR tables and metallic objects beneath the patient.
Magnetic tracking devices are the preferred method for guiding medical instruments within the body because their measurements are not lost when the sensor is not within a clear line-of-sight of its transmitter and it does not produce hazardous ionizing radiation.
Ascension Technology Corporation, based in Burlington, Vermont, USA, is the world leader in DC magnetic guidance and motion tracking solutions for medical applications. For more information about Ascension trackers, you can visit the Ascension Web site or read the VMW January 2005 article Ascension offers dramatic new noise-reduction software for its trackers.