3D holographic heart surgery hailed as ‘the future of healthcare’

Israeli doctors have conducted a series of cardiac operations while guided by live 3D holographic images of the patient’s heart, in a breakthrough which is being hailed as ‘the future of healthcare’.

Holographic heart surgery
Holographic heart surgery

Philips has worked with Israeli company RealView Imaging to develop the live 3D holographic visualisations, which can be touched, manipulated and marked up by doctors during operations.

The images are created using live X-ray and ultrasound imaging, and the resulting holographs can be seen ‘floating in free space’ by doctors, who are able to interact with them to guide their procedures.

A pilot series of operations involving eight patients was held at the Schneider Children’s Medical Centre in Petach Tikva, Israel, and Philips and RealView says the trial has ‘demonstrated the feasibility’ of the procedure.

Dr Einat Birk, director of the Institute of Paediatric Cardiology at Schneider Children’s Medical Centre, says, ‘The holographic projections enabled me to intuitively understand and interrogate the 3D spatial anatomy of the patient’s heart, as well as to navigate and appreciate the device-tissue interaction during the procedure.’

Bert van Meurs, general manager of integrated clinical solutions at Philips Healthcare, says, ‘Our ultimate goal is to create the future of healthcare by delivering innovative solutions that enhance clinical capabilities and improve patient outcomes.’

Philips and RealView say they will continue to explore the use of 3D holographic imaging – in both cardiology and other areas of surgery – following the ‘promising’ results of the pilot survey.

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