At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
A recent study reveals that augmented reality could serve as a powerful tool to help guide surgeons.
"Current image-guided surgical systems require surgeons to look back and forth between the patient and a computer screen," says Dr. Jonathan Irish, the senior author of the study and head of UHN's Techna Guided Therapeutics (GTx) Program.
"Augmented reality is a game-changer because it enables the image to be accurately projected directly on the patient, providing a more intuitive approach."
A recent study from Dr. Irish's team reveals that, when combined with existing surgical guidance systems, augmented reality improves surgeons' ability to focus, reduces the toll taken on surgeons and may improve performance.
The research team used an augmented reality system that uses a projector to overlay an image of the tumour to be removed on top of a patient. The system adapts the projected image to the curvature and position of the body to ensure that accurate information is being conveyed to the surgeon.
In the study, four different surgical procedures were simulated using plastic mock-ups of head and neck cancers and the virtual surgeries were performed by five different surgeons. Eye-tracking technology was used to track the gaze of the surgeon during the simulated procedure.
The results revealed that adding augmented reality reduced how often the surgeons shifted their gaze between the surgery and the monitor, which provided standard surgical navigation information. This enabled the surgeons to spend 100 per cent of their time with their gaze focused on the simulated procedure, compared to 21.5 per cent with more a traditional image-guided surgical system.
A key readout of how well the surgeons performed the procedures is how often they avoided the error of cutting healthy tissue while removing tumours. When augmented reality was added to a surgical navigation system, the rate of this error was reduced from 1.2 per cent to zero.
By asking surgeons to fill in a survey after they completed the surgeries, the study also revealed that the physical and mental demands perceived by the surgeons were reduced when augmented reality was combined with the traditional navigation display system.
While current image-guided surgical systems provide surgeons with detailed medical imaging information – so that all parts of a tumour can be removed while conserving as much healthy tissue as possible – the key drawback is that these systems display the information on a screen that surgeons must shift their gaze to see.
"Augmented reality overcomes this challenge by displaying information about what lies beneath the skin right in the surgeon's line of sight," concludes lead author Dr. Axel Sahovaler. "It is like having X-ray vision, enhancing a surgeon's vision with information that can provide deep insights and improve performance."