Canon is working with the leading medical institutions within the United States to further develop medical imaging technologies.
This technology will provide a more accurate diagnosis and help advance medical treatment that exist today.
At the Healthcare Optics Research Laboratory (HORL) in Boston, Canon is leveraging their technological strengths in areas such as micro-optics fabrication technology, diffraction optics simulation, and optical design technology with a goal to develop an ultra-miniature fiber endoscope. This endoscope will be less than 1 mm in diameter and will be significantly thinner than conventional devices. It consists of a micro-lens with a diffraction grating attached to the end of the optical fiber attaining a higher resolution endoscope. When commercialized, the device will enable real-time observation inside joints and sinus cavities for the first time, facilitating early treatment and new forms of diagnostics for patients.
Development of an ultra-miniature fiber endoscope for commercialization
Today, a physician will typically view the CT or MRI images outside of the operating room. They try to confirm the location of a cancerous site and decide where to position the needle. With this needle-guiding system being developed by HORL, the software will help angle the position for the needle to be inserted into the abdominal or chest cavity. This will provide a more accurate target of the cancerous site for the physician.
In today’s environment, physicians rely on their intuitions and skills during ablation and biopsy procedures. In creating a prototype of the needle-guiding system, Canon has been developing motors and sensors that can operate in an MRI environment. This system aims to bring greater speed and accuracy to such procedures.
The ultra-miniature fiber endoscope and needle-guiding system are being developed for commercialization in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They are both teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The needle-guiding system is being developed jointly with HORL and hospitals
The needle-guiding system is composed of an image-guided navigation software and a needle guidance robot