The MultiARC project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), started in September 2018. The project aims to develop innovative aids for microscopic guided ENT surgery, using the example of middle ear surgery, thus making surgeries safer in the future.
Endangerments in microscopic surgeries can be reduced when the treating physicians have as much information as possible about the area to be operated on. The smaller these areas are the more important assistance systems that doctors can rely on become. The aim of the MultiARC project is to develop these intraoperative aids for ENT surgery. For this purpose, a novel light source for multispectral tissue differentiation is being developed, for example to distinguish between tumor and adipose tissue. In addition, the 3D microscopic system allows image-based 3D measurement to assist in the insertion of middle ear prostheses to recover the hearing ability. With the help of evaluation algorithms that have to be developed, the image data thus obtained are processed and provided with Augmented Reality (AR) information. In this way, multispectral imaging, image-based 3D measurement, and true-to-scale augmentation of clinical image data are combined to form a novel multimodal imaging system.
The completely digital surgical microscopy system also allows the use as a low-latency telemedicine application to obtain the expertise of physically distant physicians. Doctors can work immersively with the image data during a surgery and are able to make collaborative decisions. Complications can be reduced and surgical times can be decreased. Overall, five partners from research and industry contributed to the results of the project.