Yes, technology is progressing in leaps and tumbles. Researchers at the University of Adelaide in South Australia have developed what they call a “SMART” needle with an embedded camera. Created to help doctors perform safer brain surgery, the camera in the needle can identify blood vessels at-risk.
The needle, a.k.a. a probe, is about the size of a human hair. It relies on an infrared light to look through the brain then uses the Internet of Things(IoT) to send the information to a computer in real-time to alert doctors of any abnormalities.
Research and development is the result of a collaboration with the University of Western Australia and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where a six-month pilot trial of the smart needle was run. Research leader and Chair of the University of Adelaide’s Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics Robert McLaughlin says researchers are also looking at other surgical applications for the device including minimally invasive approaches.
McLaughlin said surgeons rely on scans taken prior to surgery to avoid hitting blood vessels. However, the smart needle appears to be a more accurate method that highlighted their locations in real-time.
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