Reliable ENT navigation made easy and affordable

Does the world need yet another ENT navigation system?


The use of a navigation system to assist with FESS and skull base surgery has become widely recognized as highly beneficial helping surgeons correctly identify anatomy in a limited endoscopic view. In practice, however, navigation systems are rarely used. They are expensive to purchase and operate, time consuming to set up, intrusive in the surgical environment, and unreliable or inadequately supported by vendors.

Navient is different.

Navient was designed from the outset to be used routinely, not just in the rare complicated cases. With minimal lead time, the device is ready to help orient the surgeon in the highly variable labyrinthine environment of the sinuses. Furthermore, Navient was carefully designed to minimize production, shipping, training, installation and support costs and to eliminate consumables. This allows Claron to offer Navient at the lowest purchase and operating cost of any ENT navigation system, ever.

Navient is in a value class all its own.

What is Navient?

Using a CT or MRI volumetric image of the patient as a map, Navient shows the location of surgical instruments relative to surrounding anatomy to precisely guide surgical interventions. To achieve this, the patient's head is first spatially registered with the image and then tracked along with surgical tools by Navient. During navigation, the precise tool location in relative to the patient's skull is displayed on the medical image. In short, Navient is a GPS for surgeons, customized for surgery on the front and base of the skull.

To track the head and the tool positions, Navient uses the most reliable and accurate tracking technology available: optical triangulation. Unlike electromagnetic tracking, optical trackers are not affected by the presence of metallic objects and EM transmissions. They do not require intrusive coils and wires to connect to the head and the tools. Navient's optical tracker, Micron Tracker, is the smallest and lightest, yet most accurate optical tracker available. Uniquely, it tracks permanently printed markers, rather than disposable retro-reflective spheres or battery-operated LEDs used in competing systems. It operates in both well-illuminated rooms and in the dark, using its own IR illumination.

All of Navient's optoelectronic components, including the computer, display monitor and tracking camera, are contained in a compact enclosure that sits on the upper shelf of the endoscope cart. To enable patient head tracking, a reusable lightweight plastic tag is attached to the patient's forehead. Trackable pointers with permanent optically-tracked markers can be inserted at any time into the surgical field to identify structures. Additionally, any surgical tool can be tracked by attaching a lightweight plastic tag to the tool and calibrating its tip in seconds using a small universal tooltip calibrator.

Before the first OR procedure of the day, the screen and camera are pulled out of the Navient enclosure then positioned alongside the endoscope monitor, and the image data for the day's patients are loaded. Setting up the navigation for each operation takes only minutes and can be completed while the patient undergoes anesthesia: the tag is attached to the patient's forehead, and a single trace is made over the face.

Between surgeries, metal pointers and clips are flash-autoclaved and plastic parts quickly disinfected. There are no individual procedure parts to order, stock, unwrap, mount, and discard - and no additional procedure costs.

Navient is in a class by itself:

  • Affordable: Navient is by far the most affordable navigation system available today. This is enabled by Claron's commitment to advanced technology, the device's simple, compact design, and by Claron's efficient operations, not by any quality corner-cutting.
  • Accessible: Navient is designed for convenient, routine use. With no cart or video connection and with a sticky forehead tag, Navient has the shortest and easiest set up of any navigation device. Its user interface is streamlined and simple to learn.
  • Flexible: The system can be carried into any OR and is ready to use in minutes. Any rigid tool can be tracked using a universal tool clamp. Any CT or MRI dataset containing the paranasal sinuses is compatible with the system.
  • Robust: Navient is packaged as a stand-alone electronic box that sits on a cart and a few pieces of inert plastic and metal. Unlike competing systems, it requires no cables or connectors to other instruments. It has no sensitivity to nearby flat metallic objects and EM interference sources. It does not require complex video signal integration to visually integrate navigation and endoscope views.

Navient is currently for investigational use only. Regulatory approvals pending.