3D visualization tech aims to aid surgeons in heart procedures

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New technology holds the promise of enabling surgeons to use touchless interactive 3D anatomical imaging to support structural heart procedures.

The solution, a turnkey intraoperative application from EchoPixel, is awaiting 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. It will be included as part of EchoPixel’s integrated suite of mixed reality software solutions that assists cardiologists and surgeons with visualization of live 3D medical images during a procedure.

The company contends the 3D tool will enable more precise catheter and device placement and personalized planning.

The anatomical imaging tools give clinicians a 3D holographic experience to visualize and interact with patient-specific organs and tissue in an open 3D space, enabling enhanced pre-operative planning, improved patient selection, increased patient engagement and the completion of increasingly complex structural heart and congenital heart disease procedures in both adults and pediatric patients.

The software enables heart teams to interact with medical images the way they would with physical objects in the real world. It leverages CT, MR, echocardiography and C-Arm fluoroscopy images to create life-size holographic versions of organs, blood vessels and other structures. This enables physicians to interact with a digital twin of the patient-specific anatomy to identify the best treatment target, approach and catheter position, capturing accurate measurements, distances and angles.

The technology “lets you effortlessly interact with 3D images to better understand complex cardiac anatomy and the anatomic variability that is commonly seen in structural heart disease patients,” says Saurabh Sanon, MD, director of the Structural Heart Transcatheter Therapies program at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and clinical associate professor of medicine at Florida Atlantic University's College of Medicine.

Sanon says his research team are studying how the technology helps support faster procedure times and device waste. Initial results are promising, he adds: “If these results continue, I think the technology will make structural heart procedures more efficient and more accessible to patients.”

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