Virtual Reality Imaging in Cardiac Cath Lab to Treat Blocked Coronary Artery

Virtual reality (VR) has potential to revolutionize some aspects of medicine and healthcare. Several medical specialties are already using it to train physicians and assist diagnosis and it also has potential for treatment. A group of cardiologists has now successfully used a VR device to guide the opening up (revascularization) of a chronically blocked right coronary artery. Their report is published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Chronic total occlusion, a complete blockage of the coronary artery, sometimes referred to as the "final frontier in interventional cardiology," represents a major challenge for catheter-based percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This sentiment is driven by the unpredictable procedural success rates related to the difficulty of recanalizing chronic total occlusions with percutaneous techniques as well as incomplete visualization of the occluded coronary arteries by conventional coronary angiography radiology methods.

Consequently, there is substantial interest in using novel imaging methods for preprocedural characterization of chronic total occlusion. Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) is increasingly used to provide physicians with guidance when performing PCI in this subset of lesions. The occluded coronary segment and the distal vessel territory are often more clearly depicted using coronary CTA than in invasive angiography. Of particular interest, the procedure itself can be facilitated by projection of three-dimensional CTA data sets on separate monitors in the catheterization laboratory, but this technique is constrained by economic and technical factors.

Cardiologists from the Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland were able to successfully restore blood flow in the occluded right coronary artery of a 49-year-old male patient assisted by CTA projections in a wearable VR device based on Google Glass, with an optical head-mounted display. The display of three-dimensional computed tomographic reconstructions in a mobile application equipped with a hands-free voice recognition system and a zoom function, developed specifically for this purpose by a team of physicists from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling of the University of Warsaw, enabled the physician-operators to clearly visualize the distal coronary vessel and verify the direction of the guide wire advancement relative to the course of the blocked vessel segment. The procedure was completed successfully with implantation of two drug-eluting stents.

"This case demonstrates the novel application of wearable devices for display of CTA data sets in the catheterization laboratory that can be used for better planning and guidance of interventional procedures, and provides proof of concept that wearable devices can improve operator comfort and procedure efficiency in interventional cardiology," explained lead investigator Maksymilian P. Opolski, MD, PhD, of the Department of Interventional Cardiology and Angiology at the Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland.

The device used, Google Glass, consists of a wearable, hands-free computer with an optical head-mounted display worn by interventional cardiologists in the catheterization laboratory. The optical head-mounted display can display and capture images and videos while interacting with the surrounding environment. This display is an example of the concept of VR in which the user is supplemented with additional information generated by the device.

"Mobile technology is easily accessible and offers an incremental opportunity to expand the existing open platform for mobile applications, which might in turn overcome the economic and capacity limitations of advanced angiography systems with dedicated monitors for projection of CTA data sets," added Dr. Opolski. "Furthermore, wearable devices might be potentially equipped with filter lenses that provide protection against X-radiation. We believe wearable computers have a great potential to optimize percutaneous revascularization, and thus favorably affect interventional cardiologists in their daily clinical activities."

Maksymilian P. Opolski, Artur Debski, Bartosz A. Borucki, Marcin Szpak, Adam D. Staruch, Cezary Kepka, Adam Witkowski.
First-in-Man Computed Tomography-Guided Percutaneous Revascularization of Coronary Chronic Total Occlusion Using a Wearable Computer: Proof of Concept.
Canadian Journal of Cardiology, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2015.08.009

Most Popular Now

Bayer Accelerates Six New Startups

Changing the experience of health: that's the focus of the six startups which the Bayer G4A team has included in the Accelerator program this year. The young companies from Canada...

Cerner Teams-Up with North London Partne…

Cerner has announced a new collaboration with North London Partners (NLP) - a partnership of health and care organisations across five London boroughs - to connect care information, share records...

Artificial Intelligence could Help Tackl…

Scientist from King’s College London believe that Artificial Intelligence could hold the key to identifying the best way to treat the country’s biggest killer, coronary heart disease (CHD). And now...

Researchers Use AI to Successfully Treat…

A translational research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has harnessed CURATE.AI, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to successfully treat a patient with advanced cancer, completely...

Greater Manchester Health and Social Car…

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership(GMHSC Partnership) aims to deliver rapid savings and identify how the cloud can support the region’s devolved vision for integratedhealth and careservices through work...

Philips Launches New Cardiac Ultrasound …

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today introduced the EPIQ CVx cardiovascular ultrasound system. Built on the powerful EPIQ ultrasound platform, EPIQ CVx is...

Orion Health Secures Place on Framework …

Orion Health has secured a place on a framework contract that will give health and care organisations easier access to the technology they need to deliver the NHS reform agenda...

Nottingham University Hospitals Switches…

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has completed a complex project to switch integration engines; on time, on budget, and with no disruption to services. The trust has a well-advanced 'best...

An Avatar Uses Your Gait to Predict How …

Humans instinctively adopt the gait that requires the least amount of energy given the walking conditions. Without realizing it, we are constantly tweaking our pace, stride length and foot lift...

Study on Cross-Border Health Services: E…

The overall objective of this study was to propose recommendations for improving the current level of information provision to patients by National Contact Points (NCPs). The research methodology used in...

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Indus…

21 - 23 January 2019, London, UK. SMi Group are delighted to present the return of their 11th annual Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference to London on the 21st...

Kids Connect with Robot Reading Partners

Kids learn better with a friend. They're more enthusiastic and understand more if they dig into a subject with a companion. But what if that companion is artificial? Researchers at...