Pioneering 3D Virtual Imaging Technology in the Operating Room

Virtual Imaging Technoology

Frandics Chan, MD, pediatric radiologist is implementing a new technology to aide surgeons in the operating room as they prepare for and maneuver complex surgeries in both pediatric and adult patients.

The technology, which Dr. Chan helped to develop with a Silicon Valley company, is called True3D – it digitally converts CT and MRI scans into a three-dimensional images, which can be viewed with 3-D glasses in front of a special computer monitor. Surgeons are able to rotate and examine every layer of anatomy.

While the technology is being implemented in cardiac surgeries, it is able to translate to any surgical specialty.

“In any situation with unexpected anatomy— either anatomical differences the patient was born with, those associated with tumors or those created by a prior surgery— this will be very helpful for both pediatric and adult patients.”— Frandics Chan, associate professor of radiology at the School of Medicine.
virtual tourplay

The technique complements 3-D models of patients’ anatomy, which Chan now prints for one to two cases per month. “When you print an anatomical model, you can cut it open once and that’s it,” he said. “In virtual reality, you can put it back together, cut it again in a different place and magnify it with the flick of your hand.”

The tool will also help train radiologists to diagnose certain rare diseases. With experience, radiologists learn to build 3-D pictures in their heads from flat MRI or CT scans, but that skill can be challenging to teach, and 3-D images make it easier to learn the details of certain diagnoses.

Dr. Chan consulted on the development of the True3D technology with EchoPixel, based in Mountain View, CA. Chan has no financial relationship with EchoPixel or Hewlett Packard.