Imaging has become essential not only for the detection and monitoring of disease but also for improving the outcome of therapy. The overall goal of Image Guided Therapy (IGT) is to help the physician improve the efficacy and reduce the morbidity of minimally invasive procedures by providing intra-operative image based anatomic and physiologic information in real-time. Traditional surgery is based on hand-eye coordination; IGT advances this concept by enhancing what the eye can see with multimodal imaging, and what the hand can do with robotic and therapy devices. IGT integrates therapy with intra-operative imaging and transforms invasive procedures into reduced-risk minimally invasive or non-invasive ones. In IGT, pre-operative and real-time intra-operative image information is displayed, and the technologies for imaging, guidance, and therapy are all integrated within complex therapy delivery systems. In addition, multimodal imaging guides therapies using comprehensive information derived from the different physical and biological characteristics of the tissues in ways that a single imaging modality cannot. Through this fusion of data from various imaging sources, compensations are made for any weakness of an individual modality.
The BWH began its IGT program in 1991. Since then, it has become an internationally recognized pioneer in real-time intraoperative MRI-guided therapy. Using the well-known “double-doughnut” system, BWH teams performed over 3,000 surgical and interventional procedures. By 1994 the BWH IGT Program introduced non-invasive MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery. Opening in 2011, AMIGO continues these pioneering efforts with multimodal image guidance.