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New virtual reality technology to repair the heart

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A new virtual reality (VR) technology we are funding has the potential to improve outcomes for thousands of patients undergoing congenital heart surgery or keyhole surgery each year.

Researchers wear virtual reality headsets with controllers in each hand. They are looking at her 3D reconstruction of a patient's heart. It is projected onto the surrounding screen.

About 13 babies in the UK are diagnosed with congenital heart disease every day. This is a heart condition that develops in the womb before the baby is born. Depending on the severity of the condition, he may need one or more procedures to keep his heart functioning properly.

Create a digital double of hearts

Developed by researchers at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and King’s College London, the technology combines scans routinely used to plan surgery for congenital heart disease to create a three-dimensional, beating digital double of the heart. Create a.

Researchers hope that using VR to plan and perform procedures will shorten surgery time, reduce the need for multiple surgeries, and provide better outcomes and experiences for patients and their families. increase. They hope to be able to use it regularly within the next two years.

Trials of an early version of the technology, which used only an echocardiogram (an ultrasound scan of the heart) to create a VR heart, found that surgeons preferred it to understand their patients’ heart anatomy. I was. They also reported that it boosted their confidence and improved their decision-making.

Ten-year-old Rosie from London was born with a complicated congenital heart defect that required two surgeries. We caught up with her and her family as she tried out her new technology for herself.

Read more about Rosie’s story.

Our funding helped researchers add two types of scans to the system: computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These types of scans are routinely used to help plan surgery, but are usually viewed only on a flat screen.

new immersive technology

Associate Medical Director Sonya Bab Narayan, Ph.D.

“Congenital heart disease is the most common cause of birth defects in babies born in the UK. Every year thousands of children and adults with congenital heart disease are tested to halt the progression of heart failure. Heart surgery and other procedures have been performed, some requiring several procedures in a lifetime.

“This new technology may help make surgery for congenital heart disease more successful. It can also help people with congenital heart disease and empower people with congenital heart disease.”

This technology is also heavily funded by Evelina London Children’s Charity.

We have launched a campaign for public support for the power science that could lead to new treatments for all heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Help make life-saving discoveries