Dr. Nishikant Deshmukh with the da Vinci surgical console.
An Indian researcher at the Johns Hopkins University has developed the world’s first five-dimensional ultrasound system that will help surgeons detect and treat cancerous tumors.
Nishikant Deshmukh, 33, who just earned a doctoral degree from the prestigious university in Computer Science, developed the breakthrough system as part of his PhD thesis.
“My technology can give vision to the surgeon for locating tumors while operating upon patients,” the Amravati, Maharashtra, -born researcher told The American Bazaar.
In a nutshell, Dr. Deshmukh’s technology combines 3D ultrasound B-mode and the 3D ultrasound elastography volumetric data and make them available in real-time.
The technology Dr. Deshmukh developed is termed as 5D ultrasound due to its ability to visualize and get the current combined data in real-time. The advanced imaging model that he developed can generate elastography using Graphic Processing Units at 60-70 frames per second, which enables combining elastography with real-time machine-generated B-mode images
Dr. Deshmukh, who has an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune, said his technology could be used for early stage cancer detection in areas such as prostate and breast. “It will help a radiologist to determine whether the abnormally grown tissue is a potentially fatal tumor, or a more benign cyst.”
Dr. Deshmukh has also integrated the elastography system with the minimally invasive da Vinci robotic system, which has been used clinically since the year 2000.
“What we did was to accelerate it on GPUs to make it fast enough to be able to use it during surgery,” he said. “We also integrated it with the da Vinci system where the robot generates steady palpation motion for us.”
Dr. Deshmukh came to the Johns Hopkins University in 2008 to pursue his higher studies. Earlier, he worked at the National Stock Exchange of India in Mumbai for three years. His knowledge in parallel and distributed computing at NSE helped him to do advanced research in cancer imaging at The Johns Hopkins University, he said. The field is identified as Computer Integrated Surgery, which is a cross-disciplinary field of Computer Science, Medical Imaging, Biomedical Engineering, Robotics and Mechanical Engineering.
The researcher said he was motivated to pursue cancer diagnostic using computation power after seeing a family member die of cancer in rural India. “The disease could not be diagnosed at early stage,” he said. Dr. Deshmukh was also selected as the top 200 young scientists from 80 countries as part of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum and an INK Fellow, both in the year 2015.
Dr. Deshmukh is also a supporter of organic farming movement in India, which is working to lower farmer suicide rate, afforestation, children education and reduce pesticide-affected food. As part of a nonprofit, he and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins have raised nearly $300,000 for various causes in India.