Reading time ( words)
i-Med Technology BV and Neways Electronics International N.V. have entered into a partnership for the production of the Head Mounted Digital Loupe (HMDL) and the 3D viewer based on this technology. The HMDL offers a solution for the increasing complexity of surgical procedures.
Vincent Graham and Jaap Heukelom, the founders of i-Med, came up with the idea for the digital surgical loupe. Jaap Heukelom: “Weighing only 280 g, the HMDL is a very lightweight system worn on the surgeon’s head that consists of a fully digital surgical loupe/microscope with headlight and zoom function. The main advantage of the digital surgical loupe is it allows the surgeon to add high-resolution images on demand, such as 3D CT or MRI scans. All of this relevant information is available at a glance so that surgeons don’t have to walk over to a computer screen every time, but can continue to concentrate on their work. Not only does this reduce the risk of errors and complications, it also shortens the duration of operations. Ergonomics was also an important starting point during the development phase; the loupe has also been designed so that surgeons can keep their heads in an upright position, helping to prevent back and neck problems. In addition to its use in operating rooms, the digital surgical loupe offers promising potential for applications in medical education since images can be streamed live, allowing students to literally see through the surgeon’s eyes. The 3D viewer is a pair of VR goggles with very high image quality (an HMDL without cameras and portable PC) and has obtained medical CE certification.”
Neways has been involved since an early phase in the design of the HMDL, the choice of components and the “design for manufacturing” aspects. Based in Leeuwarden, CIN-ergy is i-Med’s partner for the development and manufacturing of the prototypes. Jaap Heukelom: “As a developer and producer of high-quality products for various sectors, Neways is a professional party and works according to the high-quality standards that apply in the medical sector.” Until the end of 2020, i-Med will be responsible for assembling and testing the first ten 3D viewers that Neways will supply the electronics for. Over the course of 2021, Neways (location Leeuwarden) will take over the entire production process – purchasing, assembly, testing and packaging – for both the HMDL and the 3D viewer. Production capacity is expected to grow to 50 – 100 units per year with room to grow further.” Several academic and teaching hospitals have already shown interest in the HMDL. The 3D viewer offers particularly interesting applications for builders of surgical robots, medical VR applications and endoscopes.
Eric Stodel, CEO of Neways: “Our close partnership with i-Med Technology is truly unique. With the market introduction of its very innovative HDML and 3D viewer products, i-Med is giving Neways the opportunity to maximize its potential as a system innovator and EMS lifecycle partner. I-Med is taking optimal advantage of our extensive engineering knowledge and production experience in the medtech market. We wish i-Med every success in the further upscaling and roll-out of its products and look forward to a continuation of our successful collaboration.”