Grey’s Anatomy spotlights Israeli med tech

ABC medical drama introduces viewers to RealView Imaging’s futuristic 3D holographic imaging system for heart surgery.

Cardiac surgeons can manipulate projected 3D heart structures by touching the holographs.

Cardiac surgeons can manipulate projected 3D heart structures by touching the holographs.

The physicians on Grey’s Anatomy are all actors, of course, but the space-age medical imaging technology recently featured on an episode of the popular ABC medical drama is for real.

Viewers of the show saw how RealView Imaging, based in the small Israeli northern city of Yokneam, is making it possible for surgeons to use three-dimensional holography in planning the steps of delicate, complex procedures.

The unique display and interface system projects hyper-realistic, dynamic 3D holographic images “floating in the air” without the need for special eyeglasses or even a conventional 2D screen.

The projected 3D volumes appear in free space, allowing the doctor to literally touch and interact precisely within the image — a breakthrough giving surgeons an unprecedented opportunity for guidance before taking a knife to the patient.

In the episode, Dr. Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) comes across this Israeli cutting-edge technology when she is visiting a wealthy Swiss hospital.

Her former love interest and fellow heart surgeon, Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington), explains that the holographic reproduction of a beating heart – enhanced with digital the data from X-ray, MRI or ultrasound imaging — can be manipulated and even sliced open virtually,

In real life, the RealView system was successfully tested at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva in a trial together with Royal Philips’ interventional X-ray and cardiac ultrasound systems. The technology is meant to improve outcomes for all sorts of surgical procedures.

The Grey’s Anatomy shout-out isn’t the first time Israeli med tech from Yokneam has been featured on TV. In 2010, Argo Medical’s ReWalk exoskeleton helped a wheelchair-bound character on Glee to walk for the first time.

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About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.
  • LEL817

    But apparently the show made it seem like the technology comes from Switzerland.

  • pamelalevene

    As no credit is given to Israel … in fact it is the fictional heart surgeon who is supposed to have developed it .. it’s more a cause for aggravation than pride that it was featured in the programme. Indeed, if I hadn’t read about it here I would have assumed that it was pure TV fiction.

  • pamelalevene

    The programme gave no credit to Israel for the invention. In fact they gave the credit to the fictitious surgeon! Somewhat aggravating! Being as it’s an imaginary series the viewers no doubt thought the invention was also imaginary!

  • truthdareisay

    You cannot escape Israeli “know how” not even in your everyday lives! Thank you, ISRAEL!