Toronto based Novadaq has developed a unique imaging software system to assist physicians during surgery. Based on fluorescence, which can be described as the absorption of light at a particular wavelength, while emitting at a different wavelength. the solution offers the opportunity to reduce the costs of health care, as the improved visualization can improve the efficacy and accuracy of surgical procedures, resulting in fewer complications from post-operative routines. The light emission used is far less harmful than X-rays or contrasting dye substances which can be toxic.
The system that the company calls the SPY Imaging System has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) 510(k) in the U.S. and can be used in seven surgical specialties. The minimally invasive version which can be ideal for endoscopic surgery, combines some the light imaging technology with the creation of images in HIgh Definition, utilising high resolution cameras, with solid state illumination circuitry, and proprietary software and image analysis.
Perhaps, the biggest benefits may be the ability to visually asses blood flow in real time, as this can often be life-saving. When patients are injected with harmless fluorescing agents, operators can easily discern blood flow in real time, as it travels through blood vessels and or tissue. The solution can be indispensable in the visualization of critical anatomy, and exposure to harmful ionizing radiation is eliminated. The technology also offers a high amount of flexibility , and can be used in a wide range of surgical procedures that can include organ transplants and cardiovascular or coronary artery bypass surgery.
Novadaq headed by Dr. Arun Menawat is quite actively involved in the protection of its intellectual property, and maintains a portfolio of more than 100 patents, together with an equal number of pending applications. The patents are designed to protection the innovation that the company creates for current and for use in future applications. In addition to the internal development of IP, the company expands its reach, by entering into joint ventures and strategic alliances with industry partners, universities and other research organizations.
The use of SPY imaging technologies during surgery and diagnosis has been reviewed by more than 100 publications, and the consensus is that it can lead to lower health care costs and a reduction in the amount of post-operative procedures.