The Perk Lab is a laboratory for percutaneous surgery. Percutaneous surgery is any medical procedure where access to organs is done through a needle puncture of the skin rather than an open procedure such as cutting the skin with a scalpel. The Perk Lab focuses specifically on image-guided percutaneous and intra-cavity procedures.
The Perk Lab is known as a world leader in open source image-guided intervention research software and systems. I had an opportunity to test out some of these innovative tools when I visited the lab. One of the major accomplishments coming from the lab includes their electromagnetically-navigated breast cancer surgery. Doctors have real-time visualization of the tumour and can remove it in a very unobtrusive way. I also got to test a virtual reality display that you wear which projects CT images through the device onto the patient. This means doctors can visualize the field as they perform needle-based therapy and biopsy as opposed to a freehand technique. This leads to less faulty needle placement attempts followed by repeat CT scans and adjustments. These are just a few of the innovative accomplishments coming from Kingston’s Perk Lab.
In the Perk Lab there is a real emphasis on having students from various disciplines – engineering, computing, clinical sciences, etc. – working together to further the goals of the lab. They know that pulling together students with different talents and abilities is the best way to foster learning and innovation. The Perk Lab also focuses heavily on collaboration nationally and abroad – with other hospitals, health care providers, organizations, universities, etc. They understand that operating in silos hinders innovation. The Perk Lab has had incredible accomplishments and I believe they got there by bringing together diverse talent and working towards collaboration. I believe the more we share this goal in our city, the better we’ll move forward together as a community.
If you know of a fresh or innovative approach being taken by a community group, organization or business, I want to hear about it. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram by following @MayorPaterson and the hashtag #MITour.