In recent years, public awareness of Virtual Reality technology, has helped push journalism and entertainment to new heights. But, for the first time in the history of VR and medical technology, comes an innovative VR system that could probably change the face of the medical industry.
Even with advanced imaging technology such as MRI, CT scans and ultrasounds, it’s still a tad bit difficult for doctors to get a 3-D view of a patient’s insides. EchoPixel, privately-owned company is hoping to develop medical visualization solutions using virtual reality with its True 3D (t3D) system.
Today, screening for colon cancer remains a major obstacle, since very few patients show the willingness to undergo a colonoscopy, which is much essential to its treatment. A virtual anatomy of the patient’s abdomen region can help surgeons more accurately find the right diagnosis.
EchoPixel gives Surgeons an Interactive VR system
True 3D system utilizes Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) data that is used by CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound image. Using DICOM data, it extracts interactive, 3D virtual objects that can allows doctors to explore, dissect and share. It can allow medical professionals to coherently see structures such as polyps or lesions, and accurately assess their potential harm. Moreover, the t3D system can lead to speedier medical decision-making and help create a detailed surgical plan for complicated surgeries that involve interactions with arteries and other structures of the human body. It will help doctors practice a surgical procedure on an anatomically accurate 3D model of the patient body, and thus produce effective surgery outcomes, while reducing several risks. It’s not just that, the technology will help doctors to improve visual communication with patients, thus reducing anxiety that we normally feel when we step into a surgeon’s room.
Interactive VR system for Surgical Planning
The technology is also be useful in medical education. Sergio Aguirre, founder of Echo Pixel was inspired to create the interactive VR system after spending several years researching on 3D visualization. The EchoPixel software runs on multiple hardware platforms. Currently, doctors using the technology will need to wear 3D glasses, although, the company is already occupied with creating an alternative for that as well.
EchoPixel is currently working with surgeons and radiologists develop vital clinical applications using the interactive 3D imaging technology. This will further help the company refine its system. The company has conducted several pre-clinical retrospective trials on a number of clinical problems at some of the top tier hospitals such as Cleveland Clinic, UCSF and Stanford. The True 3D system has helped increase speed and better outcomes in clinical applications. Aguirre said that, Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturing company, Foxconn has got its hands on EchoPixel for their healthcare research.
EchoPixel is selling its latest technology through three diverse approaches – a perpetual license that can bury a hole of $75,000 for basic software, one with additional protocols that comes at $20,000 per protocol, and subscription license and pay per study.
While, EchoPixel isn’t presently available for real-time usage in operating rooms. Aguirre hopes to change it soon.