Virtual reality could help diagnose heart conditions

December 22, 2005

Virtual reality that allows doctors to visualise the heart in three dimensions could help in the diagnosis of heart conditions. A pilot study published today in the open access journal Cardiovascular Ultrasound reveals that doctors can diagnose heart conditions quickly and easily from virtual three-dimensional animated images or 'holograms' of the heart. Three-dimensional (3D) holograms allow doctors to 'dive' into the beating heart and see interior parts of the organ.

Annemien van den Bosch and colleagues, from Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in The Netherlands, projected ultrasound-generated 3D images of hearts (echocardiograms) in a specially designed four-walled room called the I-Space. In the I-Space, images are projected on three of the walls and the floor, which results in an animated hologram floating in space in front of the viewers. The viewers wear a pair of glasses with polarising lenses allowing them to see the hologram with depth.

Van den Bosch et al. asked ten heart specialists to analyse the holograms of patients with a heart defect that affects the shape of an inside part the heart, and of patients with a healthy heart. The doctors learnt how to use the equipment and were able to virtually 'cut through' the heart to see inside, using a virtual pointer, within ten minutes. The ten doctors could all distinguish healthy from unhealthy hearts and make the correct diagnosis within only ten minutes.

"At the moment, I-Space technology is only available in a few dedicated research centres throughout the world" write the authors, and the combination of virtual reality and 3D echocardiography is uncommon. However, it has many potential applications and might lead to a better understanding of the anatomy of the heart.
-end-
Article:
Dynamic 3D echocardiography in virtual reality.
Annemien E. van den Bosch, Anton H.J. Koning, Folkert J. Meijboom, Jackie S. McGhie, Maarten L. Simoons, Peter J. van der Spek and Ad J.J.C Bogers. Cardiovascular Ultrasound in press (23 December 2005)

BioMed Central

Related Virtual Reality Articles from Brightsurf:

Virtual reality helps measure vulnerability to stress
Behavioral scientists at EPFL have developed a virtual reality test that assesses a person's vulnerability to stress while exploring immersive environments.

Virtual reality forests could help understanding of climate change
The effects of climate change are sometimes difficult to grasp, but now a virtual reality forest, created by geographers, can let people walk through a simulated forest of today and see what various futures may hold for the trees.

New virtual reality software allows scientists to 'walk' inside cells
Virtual reality software which allows researchers to 'walk' inside and analyze individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.

From virtual to reality! Virtual training improves physical and cognitive functions
Researchers at the Smart-Aging Research Center (IDAC) at Tohoku University have developed an innovative training protocol that, utilizing immersive virtual reality (IVR), leads to real physical and cognitive benefits.

Virtual and augmented reality: warnings about the ethical dangers
Research on virtual reality started in the eighties, but it is now that good quality is available to the public and it can become a mass consumer product soon.

Easing the burden of coronavirus with virtual reality
A new article discusses the psychological stresses imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and suggests that virtual reality can help alleviate the psychological impact of the need for social isolation.

Virtual reality makes empathy easier
Virtual reality activates brain networks that increase your ability to identify with other people, according to new research published in eNeuro.

Physiotherapy could be done at home using virtual reality
Virtual reality could help physiotherapy patients complete their exercises at home successfully thanks to researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, who managed to combine VR technology with 3D motion capture.

Using virtual reality to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder
Novel interventions using virtual reality to aid individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) handle common scenarios may include helping youngsters navigate air travel.

Virtual reality illuminates the power of opioid-associated memories
The brain acts differently when remembering environments associated with drug use.

Read More: Virtual Reality News and Virtual Reality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.