While I spent many hours learning about new surgical developments in the panel sessions at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2014 congress, my eyes and attention were continuously drawn to the exhibit hall, showing off a variety of devices by more than 150 exhibitors. Walking through the hall, I was able to get an update on a variety of new products in the video and high-tech hardware device market, which I covered last year.

Unsurprisingly, the massive Intuitive Surgical booth and the new da Vinci Xi robot caught my attention on the first day. The new da Vinci Xi has better overhead infrastructure to allow for more flexible positioning of the arms during surgery. Furthermore, the company continues to invest in surgical instruments that will help to widen the potential surgeries that could be performed with the robot.  In fact, the Intuitive Surgical booth also had a number of surgeon presentations offering reasons and example cases for adopting robotic surgeries into procedures that would previously not have been considered, like inguinal hernia repair.

Other exhibitors also had products that captured my interest, especially 3D technologies and enhanced visualization systems. The original 3DHD provider, ConMed (through its acquisition of Viking Systems), had its system on display and was also promoting a new 3-chip CMOS camera head for 2D platforms. The IM8000 system, which features the camera and light source, aligns communication between both devices in one system and will help to avoid safety concerns regarding excess heat when doing procedures on the patient. The KARL STORZ SPIES camera features special visualization modes for color contrast and increased tissue differentiation without the need of an additional light source. Additionally, the company was also showing off a 3D version of the SPIES system, not yet sold in the US market but likely available in the near future.

Tying in with visualization, Sony was also exhibiting its newest 27 LCD surgical monitor, which was only announced earlier this month. The monitor is designed to not only be sleek but also thin, allowing facilities to easily place them on the boom arms, carts, or ceilings. It is also purported to be the brightest monitor on the market and features advanced technology to reduce noise and provide different contrast modes, resulting in exceptional image quality. Along with its 4K monitor and 3D monitor, this company definitely had a full display of innovative surgical monitors.

Alas, ACS 2014 has come to an end, passing by so quickly that I still can't believe that I'm already back in Toronto.  But it was an eventful one, an exciting one, and a wonderful experience.

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