Luxsonic Technologies - INOVAIT Industry Spotlight
- Greetings and welcome to the very first talk of the new INOVAIT Industry Spotlight Series. My name is Leo Mui, and I am the funding manager at INOVAIT. This will be a monthly series featuring discussions with INOVAIT industry members, themed around various applications and clinical domains within the image guided therapy and artificial intelligence sectors. On the last Thursday of every month, INOVAIT will invite an industry member to present and showcase their technology, commercialization journey, and milestones. The events will consist of a 45-minute talk, and then followed by around 10 to 15 minute Q&A.
So first I'd like to note that this event, as well as the INOVAIT network are supported by the government of Canada through the Strategic Innovation Fund program. INOVAIT is a pan-Canadian network hosted at the Sunnybrook Research Institute with the objective of building a truly integrated IGT ecosystem, fueling continuous innovation that revolutionizes healthcare globally. Through connecting, educating, and investing in the industry's brightest minds and most promising ventures, INOVAIT will support and encourage collaborative development and integration of artificial intelligence into medical technologies.
So I'll go through right now a few housekeeping items, so this event is being recorded, and we will be available for later viewing with closed captioning, as well as French subtitles on our YouTube channel, and welcome for those of us watching live on the Hopin platform. If you go on the right hand side of your screen, you will see an events tab, and under that, you can see the other people attending by clicking on the people's button, as well as ask questions using the Q&A tab, and we will be fielding those after the talk. If you have a specific question about INOVAIT, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, please don't forget to subscribe to our e-newsletter at inovait.ca. Due to castle restrictions, we cannot send you future emails about upcoming events unless you have signed up for our e-newsletter, and have given us consent to do so.
So in today's session, we will be focusing on the applications of VR, virtual reality, in image guided therapy, including medical education, radiology research, and surgical planning. Our speaker will discuss key points in the development and applications of VR in healthcare, drawing reference to the commercialization journey of his company, and shedding light on the VR software industry and associated commercialization challenges and opportunities. So it is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Mike Wesolowski, the co-founder and CEO of Luxsonic Technologies, and he's based out of Saskatoon. Mike leads a growing team of healthcare experts, medical professionals, and software developers that share a common mission, to improve global access to healthcare through immersive technology. Their goal is to empower the healthcare industry by providing affordable, easily distributed, and immersive tools that improve medical education, hands-on training, and virtual healthcare delivery.
Back in 2020, Luxsonic was named one of the top 20 most innovative early-stage companies in Canada by the Canadian Innovation Exchange. Mike himself has had over a decade of experience leading highly performing teams in science, innovation, and technology development. And he's an entrepreneur, multidisciplinary researcher, and a passionate advocate for the concept of using tech for good. In addition to leading Luxsonic, he's also a multidisciplinary scientist, and an enthusiastic mentor. Mike received his PhD in physics from the University of Waterloo, and holds an adjunct professorship in medical imaging at the University of Saskatchewan.
He has co-authored over 35 academic publications in fields ranging from astrophysics to radiology. His current research group focuses on the development, evaluation, and integration of innovative technologies in medical imaging. I have personally known Mike and Luxsonic for several years now, and I know that he firmly believes that innovation applied with the intent of bettering humanity can be a traumatic force of positive change in society. And this belief has guided him throughout his career, and ultimately led to the creation of Luxsonic. And would that further ado, Mike. - Thanks so much, Leo, for that very kind introduction, and for the opportunity to speak with you today.
Am I coming through okay? - [Leo] You're good. - Awesome. So my father is a retired specialist in nuclear medicine. So part of my childhood was spent in rooms like this, watching him do his work. I grew up learning about radioisotopes, bone density scans, and Positron Emission Tomography. From an early age, I was able to appreciate how we as humans can use science and technology to help people.
Positron Emission Tomography is an awesome example of this. We're literally using the annihilation of anti-matter to image cancer. I mean, that's sci-fi stuff right out of "Star Trek." And watching my father work using these amazing technologies really sparked in me a lifelong fascination with the application of science and technology. It drove me to pursue an academic career in physics and medical imaging, and my company, Luxsonic, really was founded around the fundamental belief that technology should be used for the good of humankind. In fact, as Leo mentioned, at Luxsonic, our entire mission is to enable better access to healthcare using immersive technologies.
We work to empower the healthcare industry with immersive tools that enhance medical education, professional training, and healthcare delivery. Now I'm sure many of you have heard of immersive technologies, like virtual and augmented reality. More recently, you may have heard of the metaverse, and many of you may think that this technology is just a novelty or that it's only being used for gaming. My goals for this talk are to give you an appreciation of the benefits of immersive technology as they relate to healthcare, show you how virtual and augmented reality are already being used in medicine, and give you a glimpse at how I think immersive technology combined with machine learning could have a dramatic impact on the delivery of care in the near future. I love this picture, because for me it captures the spirit of what we mean when we say immersive technology. In fact, books were likely our first immersive technology.
When you read a book, the words can spark your imagination, making you feel, in part, like you're immersed in another place or another time. That's exactly what we're trying to accomplish with modern immersive technology like virtual reality. When you wear a head-mounted display, it tricks your brain into believing that you're present somewhere else. We'll see later that presence and the feeling of immersion are really what make modern immersive technology such a powerful tool for healthcare, but it's taken almost 90 years for the technology to advance to the point where we are today. The first depiction of modern virtual reality is widely considered to be found in Stanley Weinbaum's science fiction story, "Pygmalion's Spectacles," published in 1933. In this story, the protagonist meets a professor who has invented a pair of goggles that can convince the wearer that they've been whisked away to a fantasy world.
Now, the illusion is so convincing that the protagonist even falls in love with one of the fantasy characters. I won't ruin the plot for you, but you can probably guess the ending if you're familiar with Greek mythology. It's a short read, and it's free, so I encourage you to go find it. Weinbaum did an excellent job predicting the future, and establishing what we really think of as modern virtual reality. As is often the case, science imitates science fiction, and 20 years after "Pygmalion's Spectacles" Morgan Heilig secured the first patents for virtual reality, including one for the Telesphere Mask, which looks suspiciously similar to our modern head-mounted displays.
In 1968, Ivan Sutherland and his student developed The Sword of Damocles, which was aptly named, since it had to be hung from the ceiling above the user's head. It was the first head-mounted display to show users purely computer generated graphic, several years before we even had a CT machine. In the 1970s, the first interactive virtual reality room was created. Kruger's Video Palace was housed in Milwaukee Art Center, and he used computer graphics, projectors, video cameras, videos displays, and position-sensing technology without the need for a user to wear a head-mounted display, they were able to interact with the entire room. In the 1980s, NASA started training astronauts using their Virtual Visual Environment Display. And then soon afterwords, in the early 1990s, we had the birth of consumer virtual reality.
That was when I had my first exposure to the technology. I was on holiday with my family in Toronto, and Virtuality, one of the early pioneers in consumer VR, had a large setup at the base of the CN tower. The graphics were crude and the controls were a little wonky, but I still vividly remember stepping into that virtual world for the first time, even 30 years later. It was a transformative experience. Unfortunately, this first wave of virtual reality technology wasn't good enough to appeal widely to consumers.
While it was a commercial failure, consumer technology greatly improved the access to VR for academic and medical researchers, and we actually started to see our first serious clinical VR applications in the late '90s, which we'll discuss a little bit later. With the coming of the new millennium, Google began to virtualize our world. Google Street View allowed us to explore the world at ground level in 360 degrees, all from the comfort of our living room.
But it wasn't until we had mobile computers in our pockets capable of displaying high-definition graphics that convincingly immersive head-mounted displays were a possibility. In 2016, the Oculus Rift was released to consumers, and the modern era of virtual reality began. Billions of dollars have been invested in the technology, with tens of millions of headsets already sold around the world. It looks like this technology is here to stay, so I think it's worthwhile for us to understand the different types of immersive technology we have available for use in healthcare today.
With augmented reality, or AR, digital information is displayed in an overlay on top of our view of the real world. In this example, we see a wearer in a holographic AR headset, looking at anatomical data. To the user, it appears as though the various body systems exist and are anchored in the physical world. The user is able to move around the physical world, and interact with the digital data as if it was really there. AR is ideal for use in applications where awareness of the physical world is critical, but access to digital information in the field of view is also beneficial. Not surprisingly, AR is being used for heads up displays, surgical overlays, and even real time procedural guidance.
At the other end of the spectrum with virtual reality, or VR, users are immersed in and interact with fully digital worlds. In this example, a user is going through an anesthesiology training simulation. They feel like they're really in the operating room, and are able to interact with the equipment and the environment in the same way they would in the real world. It's been shown that during high fidelity virtual simulations like this, users actually form memories, just like they do with real life experiences. Which suggests that spending time training in VR could provide a valuable adjunct to real world training. There are other obvious benefits for training in fully virtual environments, including operational cost savings, improved access to resources and rare procedures, as well as the ability to repeat training in a safe and standardized manner.
But in some cases, it's beneficial to leverage both the real and virtual worlds. With mixed reality or MR, we can merge the real and virtual worlds, interacting with both physical and digital objects. In this example, a user is working with a haptic surgical device that's been connected to a virtual reality simulation of a surgery. Haptic feedback is critical for the development of fine motor skills, and adds to the realism of the virtual simulation. As we continue to develop better haptic and force feedback devices, our virtual simulations will become more and more realistic. Eventually, we'll reach the point where it will be very difficult to tell between what is real and what is virtual.
Even now before we have a full holodeck, immersive technologies are being applied throughout healthcare in ways that might surprise you. As I mentioned earlier, virtual reality has been used in clinical applications since the late '90s. And we now have over 30 years of research and evidence generation showing us how to best use the technology and its benefits in healthcare. Hundreds of use cases are being explored, and immersive applications are being piloted or fully developed in almost every branch of healthcare. I found that these applications typically fall into one of three categories based on their use cases.
Education and training, digital therapy and patient care, and diagnostics and interventions. Each of these categories can be further subdivided, so I think it's worthwhile to spend a few minutes discussing each category separately. There are many benefits to using immersive applications for training and education in healthcare.
For example, it can take millions of dollars per year to operate a traditional clinical simulation center. Since immersive tech doesn't require dedicated clinical space, and entire environments can be virtual, including patients and equipment, standardized immersive training simulations can be deployed at a fraction of the operational cost of a traditional clinical simulation. These virtual experiences can be designed for multiple concurrent users and deployed remotely, so access to educational content can be more quickly distributed, reducing the burden students who may be in remote areas. Virtual simulations and educational resources can also be used to provide students and trainees with opportunities to experience rare or dangerous procedures in a safe training environment without additional risk to patients or trainees. There are other tangible benefits that we've discovered over the last 30 years researching the efficacy of these types of resources.
We found that training could be accomplished much faster in immersive applications when compared to learning in the classroom. Learners are often more confident in the skills they gain during training in VR, and then in implying those skills afterwards. They're more emotionally connected to the content than they are learning in the classroom, and they retain knowledge for longer when compared to traditional e-learning. Because they're immersed in a virtual reality world, they're also more focused.
They're not distracted by their cell phone, or multiple tabs being open in their e-learning application. And as I mentioned, immersive learning has been found to be more cost effective than classroom learning at scale, so it's no wonder that we're starting to see immersive education and training being used in almost every field of healthcare. Here's just one example. At the start of the pandemic, Case Western deployed 185 HoloLens devices to first-year medical students across the US and Canada. Using their HoloAnatomy suite, students were able to learn anatomy remotely, uninterrupted, despite the physical separation required during the early stages of COVID. So that's an extremely powerful example.
We can distribute this type of content around the world, and connect people to that content in a way that's really not impossible with traditional e-learning, or traditional classroom learning. And there are hundreds of other examples. We're seeing the adoption of immersive technology for surgical training, nursing, physiotherapy, and the list goes on. That list continues to grow every year as well, and I'm confident that we will see further acceleration and adoption of the technology for medical education and training into the foreseeable future.
In addition to education and training, digital therapy and patient care are areas in which we've seen early adoption of immersive tech. As I mentioned earlier in the talk, immersion and the feeling of presence can be powerful tools for healthcare applications. And one of the earliest examples of this is an application called Snow World. So do you remember when I mentioned that clinical VR applications were developed as early as the late 1990's? Well this is perhaps the most famous and well-studied example. Snow World was developed by Hunter Hoffman's group at the University of Washington in the late '90s to help manage pain in burn victims.
Their initial hypothesis was if you could immerse a burn victim in a snowy environment, have them play through a virtual scenario in the virtual world while listening to Paul Simon, it would reduce the pain that they felt during wound changes. What the researchers found was astonishing. For many patients, Snow World was found to be more effective than morphine in managing pain.
Just think about that for a second. Putting on a headset, playing an immersive game can be more effective than one of our most powerful opioids. These results have been repeated for other applications at other institutions, so we have a growing body of evidence that shows that presence has real clinical power. The FDA has even started to approve virtual reality therapeutics, with VR treatment for back pain, chronic back pain being approved in 2021.
In addition to pain management, we're seeing immersive technologies used to treat phobias and PTSD through exposure therapy, patients who have suffered a stroke are using VR for physical therapy, young adults with autism have been shown to improve their social skills using immersive technology for occupational therapy, and a host of mental health issues from depression to body dysmorphia are being treated using immersive applications. The preparation of patients for clinical procedures using immersive tech is also being shown to be beneficial for patient care. For example, our company has used 360 degree video to prepare pediatric patients for MRI procedures at the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital here in Saskatoon.
In combination with other preparatory aids, the application was shown to reduce anxiety in peds prior to the procedure, with 87% of pediatric patients able to complete their scans without the need for sedation, and 98% of patients expressing positive feelings towards the virtual preparation application. So most of technologies are showing clear benefits as therapies and in patient care, and they're becoming more and more integrated into the entire spectrum of patient care, including diagnosis and treatment. For example, a breakthrough device was recently awarded by the FDA for an augmented reality piece of software that's being used to detect the early onset of Alzheimer's disease, and they're able to do this remotely in a headset. The physician doesn't actually have to see the patient, and they're able to use the software, and in the virtual world diagnose Alzheimer's and early onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Virtual reality is also being used to diagnose vision related disorders like glaucoma, and it's even being used to treat some common eye disorders like lazy eye, a leading cause of vision loss in children. Of most relevance to image guided therapy, we're also starting to see applications of augmented reality and virtual reality for presurgical planning. Allowing physicians to interact with 3-D volumetric imaging data, and go through entire procedures before they ever interact with patients. Augmented reality is also being used to provide heads up displays for surgeons, overlay imaging data on patients during surgeries, or even guide needles during procedures. These type of applications are still in the early stages, but there are already several commercial applications on the market, and multiple startups working in the space.
Finally at Luxsonic, we've been developing virtual reality software called SieVRt, that serves as an immersive workflow platform for medical imaging. Our INOVAIT project focuses on the development of a machine learning pipeline within SieVRt, merging the two technologies into one integrated system. So SieVRt is a digital twin of the radiology reading room. We've virtualized all of the hardware and all of the software that's required to work with medical images. Instead of needing a dedicated physical space, physicians only need a portable VR headset to do their work. This makes SieVRt much more affordable than a traditional radiology reading room, and it can provide better access to remote radiology services.
This flexibility to work anywhere can also improve the work-life balance for physicians. Here's a quick look at what it feels like to be in SieVRt. It's much more than just a simple PACS viewer.
In fact, anything you can do in the physical reading room, you can do in our virtual reading room. Viewing a virtual reality environment on a 2-D screen really just doesn't do it justice. So if any of you want to try SieVRt, I'm happy to organize an in-headset demo for you. Within SieVRt, radiologists and other physicians have access to all the components of medical imaging workflow from education to collaboration, to diagnostics in one integrated system. Last year, we received authorization from Health Canada to use SieVRt as a class two medical device for remote radiology.
That was the first ever diagnostic virtual reality software that was approved by a regulatory body anywhere in the world. But a platform like ours has broad applications across healthcare, since medical imaging is such a critical part of patient care. For our INOVAIT project, the goal is to integrate a full machine learning pipeline into SieVRt. When complete, this pipeline will allow researchers to more quickly create new machine learning models by improving the speed in which they can annotate imaging data. Once these models have been created and certified for clinical use, they'll become available to physicians through a library interface in a virtual environment by building these resources into a single integrated virtual environment while allowing researchers and physicians access to these type of tools anywhere they go, untethered by the physical world. There are many areas in healthcare where machine learning is being applied.
Most commonly, we think of machine learning for computer aided diagnosis, and the identification and classification of pathology. But ML is also being used to manage and interpret large volumes of medical data, orchestrate workflow, and even to improve drug discovery. For the INOVAIT project specifically, our first implementation of the ML hub is focused on image guided therapy. We're using machine learning to reduce the time required to segment patient imaging data. Once segmented, this 3-D volumetric data can be visualized and interacted with for the purpose of presurgical planning.
Here's the progress we've made in the first year of the project. We've developed all of the backend cloud infrastructure needed to train and run machine learning models. We've linked that infrastructure to SieVRt in the VR environment so that the two systems can exchange data. We've implemented a deep grow algorithm for fast segmentation of the anatomy and CT scans, as well as the tools required to edit those regions within VR. Here you can see a user dropping a few data points on the spleen. The data is processed in the cloud in real time, and a region is generated.
That region could be refined until the user is satisfied with it. Since all of these workflows are integrated into a single system, the user doesn't have to waste time switching between multiple programs. They can go straight from PACS, to training, to 3-D visualization.
Now in a second, we'll see that the user is able to generate a 3-D volume directly from the data in front of them. They can then interact with that volume as if it were a real object. So, just give the video two seconds, and you can see, we can scroll through the data. We can actually remove data with tools that are available, already built in. And then basically within a few seconds, we can generate a 3-D volume that the user is then able to interact with.
The user can generate that volume from the data in front of them. They can interact with that volume as if it were a real object, and our next steps are to refine and optimize this workflow for pre-surgical planning. Imagine going from raw imaging data to a fully segmented volume within a few minutes, and then being able to plan your intervention with virtual surgical tools and radiation therapy tools on that very same data set. Oh, and you can do that from the comfort of your couch at home, if you really want to.
That's the vision we're enabling with immersive technologies, and there's still more to come in the near future. We've already started to sell the basic SieVRt platform across Canada, so if you're interested in trying it, please reach out to me after our presentation. Over the next year, we'll continue to refine machine learning module with an expected launch of our MVP before the end of 2022.
There are a few things happening in the immersive technology industry that have me very excited for in the near future. Headsets are continuing to get lighter and more ergonomic, with a push for leveraging processing power in the cloud. There's a growing competition in the space, with Apple expected to enter the market next year. With increased competition, I expect increased adoption and lower costs of the hardware in the long run. Haptic feedback gloves and devices are going to continue to improve, and provide better fidelity for training, but I'm most excited for collaboration in shared virtual environments to become more accessible.
In fact, we've already built secure collaboration tools into SieVRt. These tools allow multiple physicians to share the virtual reading room, and the imaging data within that room in real time. We anticipate these tool is being used for things like distributed education in rural areas, tumor boards, or even consults with patients.
Immersive technologies have been around for a long time. Their applications in healthcare have been studied for decades, and we now have the technology for convincing immersion. Immersive technology is here to stay, and it's already starting to transform healthcare for the better. And with that, I'll end my talk. Thank very much for your attention, and I'm happy to answer any questions. - Well thank you very much, Mike, for that.
You go way back in terms of the start of immersive technology, so I really appreciated that history. And for our live audience again, under the events tab there is a Q&A button so you can submit your questions there. I will start off with one of my own. So immersive technology, you speak obviously about VR and and that use in medical imaging, but how about other technologies? Like we've seen holographics technologies, seeing people sort of 3-D printout organs, how do you see yourself in that field? - Yeah, so I think what we're seeing is the ability to be able to visualize data in either augmented or virtual reality, depending on where it makes the most sense.
So specific use cases I think are fantastic for augmented reality, when we're talking about real-time surgical guidance, for example, or procedural guidance using holographic displays. When we look at the overlay of medical imaging data during a surgical procedure, augmented reality works really well whether it's a holographic display or a pass through augmented reality system, where you have video cameras on the front basically replicating the world around you. I think those are fantastic applications for augmented reality, and we continue to see similar applications along those lines. When I mentioned the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, that's actually using augmented reality as well. So we're seeing wide applications of different forms of immersive technology, but really, I think virtual reality has a fantastic niche for certain applications, and augmented reality works really well for other applications.
And we'll likely see a conversion of those type of headsets, actually, with pass through AR technology so that you can have the best of both worlds in a single headset. - And how do you see adoption rolling out? Do you think it is quite easy to get this into radiologists' workflows? Is there a steep training curve or learning curve or training needed to really get them into the groove of using your headset and hand controls? - I think adoption, obviously there's always an adoption curve. We have some physicians who will pick up the system and be able to use it right out of the box and have no problems, and other physicians who look for different types of peripherals, like inputs that they're used to.
So for example, typically earlier stage career physicians, they may have been exposed to the gaming environment, they don't mind having the hand controllers. But more experienced physicians and radiologists, they really want a physical keyboard and mouse. And so what we've actually been working on is pulling those, in a mixed reality way, pulling those peripherals actually into the virtual environment so you get the best of both worlds.
You have your mouse and keyboard input, now that's a little bit challenging in a virtual 3-D space because you have multiple planes of interaction, so making sure that the mouse is in the right place at the right time when the physician needs to focus, that's one of the challenge is, and that's where some of our IP comes around. But I think, really... to integrate this type of technology into the healthcare system, it's like integrating any other medical device in the healthcare system, you have to follow certification regulations, privacy is a huge concern. That's why we don't recommend necessarily certain types of devices, because they may have privacy issues associated with them. And then the management of 100 headsets is another issue that we have to deal with. So we've done a lot of work in developing out ways in which we can manage headsets remotely and securely.
We can help deploy those headsets across the entire healthcare system, or across a hospital and help to manage that, lessen the IT burden on the healthcare system. So really, we provide, typically when we're deploying, we provide a managed solution where we provide software, hardware, service and support all in one package. So really to try and lessen that adoption curve, or lower that adoption curve.
- We have some audience questions, so Elvis Chan is asking about image fidelity. So, image fidelity is crucial to make accurate diagnoses from medical imaging. He's curious about what kind of feedback you can get from radiologists, if they can see the minute details when using a headset or a HDMI? - Yeah, absolutely. If you look at most consumer headsets, they actually will fall under, or meet the ACR guidelines for diagnostic displays. So many of our headsets, even on the consumer level are hitting six megapixels per eye per display. And so in order for us to receive Health Canada approval, we had to go through a clinical trial where we did a direct comparison between our software and immersive displays and a diagnostic monitor, and what we found was there was no significant difference.
The rads didn't feel that they missed anything. From a qualitative perspective, they felt just as good reading in VR as they did on a diagnostic monitor. And in fact, we had some radiologists who preferred reading certain types of modalities in our VR environment. So for example, MRI and ultrasound, they preferred reading in VR versus a diagnostic monitor. So we've gone through extensive trials and testing to ensure that this is a clinically accurate device.
So, I hope that answers your questions. - Yeah and Elvis, if you have a follow up, you can absolutely ask that as well. But moving on my colleague Ahmed Nasa is asking whether you think our Canadian healthcare system, our hospitals and clinicians, are prepared and well resourced to deploy, implement, and collaborate with AI, VR, ML innovators and researchers, or perhaps co-create and support this kind of innovation? - Yeah, I mean, I think we're seeing that across Canada. More and more healthcare systems are exploring the use of immersive technology. But you're asking a bit of a tough question, especially of our healthcare workers, of our practitioners.
They are already very busy, and so it can be challenging to find the time and the resources to really start to understand how immersive technologies can improve healthcare workflows, but it's happening. And we're seeing it more and more at various institutions, whether it's for education and training, or for actual clinical care. - And jumping off from that question, we have a number of early stage startups within our network, and there could be some entrepreneurs watching this video. So you've been around in the game for a while now, how did you first approach radiologists hospitals to pitch them this idea? What are your tips to get people who are typically very busy to try out new technology? - Yeah, so we had radiologists involved in the process since the beginning. I had the benefit of being embedded in a clinical department as a researcher, which not everyone has, but that allowed me to approach colleagues in the department with the idea, and really... we approached the development of SieVRt as solving problems for physicians, as opposed to trying to create more work for physicians.
So the whole goal for SieVRt is to improve workflow, and improve the work-life balance of physicians. So with that approach, we were able to meet with radiologists in my network, talk to them about the idea, have them poke holes in the idea, and really make them feel engaged in the process, and have them engaged in the entire process. We have rads who have been with us since the beginning who have tested SieVRt, who give us critical feedback constantly, especially about that mouse and keyboard.
But, I think many people in general are very passionate about what they do, and if you approach people and physicians from a position of humility and from a position of trying to discover their problems and understand their problems so that you can try to solve some of those problems, I think you'll find that people will make time for you. - Here at INOVAIT, we are of course focused on Canada, but of course we do wanna see our technologies be exported worldwide. So when you've shown SieVRt in international exhibitions, or shown it outside of Canada, have you seen a market difference between how people from the outside see it, and people from Canada? - I think with immersive technologies, you really have to put the headset on people's heads. So whenever we're able to show, whether it's in Canada or the US, whenever we're able to actually have someone put on the headset, it's completely different than trying to show it on a 2-D screen. The last exhibition we attended actually, and this was the first one in several years because of COVID, but we were at the Radiological Society of North America's big conference in Chicago in late November, early December of 2021.
And what we found was the conference itself, while fewer people were attending, the people who did attend were very engaged, more so than in previous years. And we had fantastic feedback from interventional radiologists, from general diagnostic radiologists, and lots of excitement about the technology, and I think part of that is actually because of where we're at in this pandemic. What this technology allows you to do is really, it provides freedom effectively to work wherever, however you want to, and do so in a collaborative manner, really connect people, and I think that's where the strength of the technology is. So, our partners in the US are very active on the research and integration front. We've got some amazing projects happening right now around interprofessional, international collaboration within medical imaging.
So we have radiologists collaborating with their colleagues from around the world using our system. We have fantastic research happening right in our own backyard here at the University of Saskatchewan, at McMaster University. We're not seeing a huge cross-border difference, to answer your original question. I think there's excitement on both sides of the border. - All right, so just to wrap it up, if people would like to contact you to put the headset on, how can they do so? - Absolutely, so feel free to email email@example.com,
so I-N-F-O @luxsonic.ca. You can visit our website, luxsonic.ca, or SieVRt's individual website, S-I-E-V-R-T.com. - All right, thank you so much Mike, for that discussion today, and for your wonderful presentation. I'd like to thank everybody watching this video, and of course also thank the government of Canada for their support of the INOVAIT network, and this event through the Strategic Innovation Fund.
As mentioned at the beginning, we will be having this every month. And so next month, our guest will be Frédéric Couët of OpSens out in another part of the country in Quebec who will be giving a talk entitled "Down the Ladder of Abstraction: Engineering Decisions for Cardiovascular Interventions." So please join us for that event on Thursday, March 31st, between 1 and 2:00 PM Eastern.
And just like I said before, if you wanna get an invitation for that event and notice for our other events, please do make sure that you're subscribed to the INOVAIT e-newsletter, and you will hear from us. So thank you again Mike, for your time, and I hope to be able to see this deployed throughout the country pretty soon. - Thanks.