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Another Way to Keep Brain-Surgery Patients Alive

One of the people you’ll meet in SuperFreakonomics is a remarkable physician at Washington Hospital Center (WHC) named Craig Feied. He has had a hand in many technological innovations that are pushing medicine, hard, into the future (or at least the present).
Check out, for instance, the video below. It was taken in an operating room at WHC, using software developed by the Institutes for Innovation in Medicine and the Medical Media Lab. As you’ll see, the surgeon, who is preparing to take a brain biopsy, is able to manipulate the MRI images without touching a computer screen or controls. It is risky enough to perform brain surgery; the idea is to not add the risk of bacterial infection by having a gowned-and-gloved surgeon have to manipulate a bacteria-ridden computer mouse or screen. As we’ve written before, hospital bacteria are a serious problem. (Here‘s a paper on this innovation, co-authored by Feied.)