Neuronavigation has been prohibitively expensive for most neurosurgical centers. However, recent advances in computing and gaming—such as powerful graphics for computing, 3D cameras and trackers, and tablets—have made the underlying components of neuronavigation systems widely prevalent, accessible, and affordable.
Together with her colleagues at BWH and collaborators around the world, Dr. Alexandra Golby has formulated a strategy to use these technologies to develop a low-cost neuronavigation system designed for use in low- and middle-income countries. The NousNav team are designing, building, and testing a custom neuronavigation system that leverages:
- affordable computer graphics and 3D tracking technologies originally developed for high-end gaming
- open-source software for medical image analysis
- inexpensive off the shelf computers for processing and display
As part of this iterative process, the team is piloting the system in select sites around the world. To ensure successful adoption of the technology, Dr. Golby has purposefully integrated education and training components into the project, with opportunities for surgeons in these countries to learn from Dr. Golby and her colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital—experts in neurosurgery, neuroimaging, and translating medical technology—about how to implement neuronavigation in their home institutions, as well as the latest advances in the field.
Neurosurgeon Fahd Derkaoui Hassani demonstrated NousNav functionality to assembled residents and medical students at Abulcassis University of Health Sciences in Rabat, Morocco. For many this was their first opportunity to interact with a neuronavigation system.