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Olympus Develops Unique 3D/2D Imaging System for Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci® Surgical System

...features world's first endoscope with changeable 3D/2D observation for enhanced surgical efficiency.

Melville, NY, October 20, 2003 - The parent company of Olympus America Inc. --- Olympus Corporation of Tokyo, Japan --- today announced that it has developed a unique 3D/2D Imaging System for the da Vinci® Surgical System manufactured by Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, CA (NASDAQ: ISRG). This new imaging technology allows surgeons to view both high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) endoscopic images as well as wide-angle, panoramic two-dimensional (2D) endoscopic images on the da Vinci System surgeon's console. Access to both 3D and 2D images in a single, consolidated video system will enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures more efficiently and with greater precision.

Three separate optical systems
The Olympus 3D/2D Imaging System's endoscope is equipped with three separate optical systems --- one each for the left and right eyes, allowing for true 3D visualization, and one for wide-angle 2D imaging--- all within a single 12mm scope. For 3D observation, the left and right eye optical systems supply separate cameras with endoscopic images. These images are projected onto left and right monitors on the da Vinci System surgeon's console, where the surgeon can obtain a three-dimensional view by watching both images simultaneously. For 2D images, an integrated optical system with a wide-angle lens supplies endoscopic images to a separate camera, which is used to project the images onto the monitors. The surgeon, as well as his/her assistant, can switch between 3D and 2D images simply by pressing a foot pedal located on the surgeon's console.

The high-resolution, 3D view is required during the procedure when precision and increased depth of vision are critical, such as during suturing and delicate surgical dissection. The 2D imaging is most effective for obtaining a wide-angle, panoramic view of the surgical field and viewing the relative positions of the surgical instruments. Prior to the addition of 2D imaging, it was necessary to pull the endoscope backwards to obtain a wider view of the entire surgical site. The newly developed 3D/2D Imaging System enhances surgical efficiency by providing immediate access to a 3D or 2D view without moving the endoscope.

Olympus and Intuitive began working together in October 2001, when Olympus developed the reusable SonoSurgTM ultrasonic cutting and coagulation device for exclusive use with the da Vinci Surgical System. This collaborative effort led more recently to the development of the 3D/2D Imaging System.

The Olympus 3D/2D Imaging System will be displayed at Olympus' and Intuitive Surgical's booths at the 2003 annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which will be held on October 20 - 23, 2003 in Chicago, IL.

Olympus Video Technology
For 2D observation, the Olympus VISERATM multi-specialty digital imaging platform is used to obtain high-quality images of the surgical field. High-quality still and moving digital images can be recorded, stored and forwarded with VISERA, making application and management of recorded images smoother than ever.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investments in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; and
  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.
In the U.S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America.