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Sony-Olympus joint venture to market advanced HD surgical microscope

by

Staff Writer

Sony Olympus Medical Solutions — a medical joint venture set up by Sony and Olympus in 2013 — says it has developed a new surgical microscope that could free doctors from the strains involved with operating older, unwieldy models over long periods of time.

The Orbeye digital microscope system, to hit the market in October, projects 4K ultra high-definition images on a large flat-screen monitor viewable to anyone wearing light 3-D film glasses.

“Microsurgeries involve technically challenging tasks,” Akihiro Taguchi, a senior managing director at Olympus, told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. “The conventional system has forced doctors to stay in an unnatural position for so long that it is not uncommon to hear of surgeons who have injured their necks.”

In addition, many doctors suffer eye strain after performing operations that can last 10 hours or more.

The new system, featuring a slimmed-down, lighter microscope with 3-D 4K image sensors, a monitor and a video recorder, is priced at around ¥40 million ($360,000) apiece.

The companies plan to market the product in Japan and the United States, mainly to hospitals with neurosurgery and otolaryngology departments.

The Orbeye is the second product to be released by the SOMED, which rolled out its first product — a 4K surgical endoscope — in 2015.

The firm says it wants to boost its global market share in surgical microscopes to 20 percent from the current 1-2 percent by 2021.

Currently two German manufacturers, Carl Zeiss and Leica, control 90 percent of the market.