The Intervention Centre: Testbed for future technologies in medicine

Public Health Service Provider — July 13, 2017

With new ways to look in to the body or even visualize what’s inside as a hologram from the outside, the Intervention Centre performs advanced minimally invasive surgery. For medtech companies eager to test their solution in real life this unit serves as a gateway to the Hospital.

Based on the ideas from a Master’s Thesis about organization of innovation in hospitals, The Intervention Centre was established back in 1996. The basic idea was to gather technology and specialized knowledge in one place available for other parts of the hospital. The founders wanted it to be an integrated part of the hospital separated from the production line so that other hospital units just book time when they see the need.

The medical focus for the centre is minimally invasive therapy, by use of image-guided intervention and radiology, robotics and simulators, biosensors and telecommunication and diagnostic physics.

3D visualization of the inside

An exciting project illustrating what can be done is the use of so called hololens technology that visualize organs inside the body as a high-resolution hologram. A Surgical Navigation system developed at the Intervention Centre has been implemented on the HoloLens platform from Microsoft in collaboration with Sopra Steria. The goal is to improve laparoscopic surgery of liver cancer or improve treatment planning og heart deformities by visualizing the existing 3D model of the actual organ in Microsoft Hololens.

Gateway to the hospital

For the more than 20 years, companies and others have been approaching the Intervention Centre to co-operate, test and develop innovative solutions.

–We have always tried to help, but it became clear that we needed to organize the co-oparation with the industry in a better way, explains Karl Øyri, who has been part of the Intervention Centre since 2000, and now is Section Manager. In 2012 – 2013 he was involved in establishing a testbed for medical devices as a part of the centre. The Testbed serves as a gateway to Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and identify clinicians who may be interested in testing new equipment or devices.

MedTech companies that wants to test their solution in a realistic clinical hospital environment have to fill in an inquiry  form that describes and explains the product they have, and what type of services they need from the Intervention Centre.  This process is followed by face to face meetings, and eventually end up in projects sponsored by the companies.

Platform for early stage evaluation

The Testbed serves as a platform where products from start up’s to large international companies can be evaluated. The Testbed  has capabilities to perform testing in various phases of development of new devices or equipment. The services include both pre-clinical and clinical testing.

–In a project we can involve people with different competencies, like research leaders, health economists and quality coordinators, Øyri explains.

Quality and compliance with regulatory demands is very important for companies that wants to test their product in the hospital. This year the Intervention Centre got ISO-9001 certification of their quality system.

Speed up treatments

The Testbed have several purposes. One is to speed up the development of new treatments, another is to assist medical device companies in their efforts to bring new products to the market.  A third purpose is to stimulate development of Norwegian Med-Tech industry.

The Testbed uses resources at the Intervention Centre. The Centre has three highly advanced hybrid operating theaters as well as multi-disciplinary staff including medical specialists and technological experts.

The Intervention Centre is an integrated department at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet. In addition to human procedures, The Intervention Centre has approval for animal research.