Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland will now use a new mixed reality technology platform called Blueprint Mixed Reality (MR) Guidance, developed by Stryker, for shoulder arthroplasty.

The Blueprint Mixed Reality Guidance System integrates Stryker’s software with the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset to monitor the position and orientation of surgical instruments.

Known for orthopaedic surgery, Mercy Medical Center is now said to be the first hospital in the mid-Atlantic region to offer mixed reality technology-based shoulder surgery.

Gregory Gasbarro, medical director of the shoulder joint journey programme at Mercy Medical Center, stated that MR technology enables surgeons to customise shoulder joint replacement procedures as per specific needs and anatomy.

Gasbarro said: “This means a highly precise and personalised shoulder replacement, thanks to superior accuracy in glenoid (socket) pin placement and implant positioning.

“It’s a leap forward in what can be achieved compared with current techniques.”

The Blueprint Mixed Reality system overlays 3D holographic images onto real-life scenarios.  

It allows surgeons to directly observe the surgical site while simultaneously visualising and manipulating a holographic representation of the patient’s anatomy and the pre-operative plan.

Gasbarro said: “While virtual reality immerses the viewer into a completely artificial world, mixed reality overlays 3D images with what we see in real life, allowing the two to interact.

“The 3D surgical technique, known as stereotaxic surgery, used in Mixed Reality Guidance, takes surgery to the next level.”

The Blueprint Mixed Reality Guidance System is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared system that also secured the CE mark in late 2023.

The mixed reality technology is engineered to enable surgeons to precisely execute their surgical plans within 2mm and two degrees of their pre-operative plan.

Gasbarro said: “This technology allows the surgeon to plan and execute the surgery based on precise images of the patient’s shoulder, so there is far less risk of the implant being placed improperly.”

In February 2024, Stryker announced the first shoulder arthroplasty surgery using the Blueprint Mixed Reality Guidance System in Europe.