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The Immersive VR Technology Now Help Parents to Visualize Surgery

Published Fri, Nov 26 2021 04:34 am
by The Silicon Trend

vr healthcare


The Immersive VR Technology Now Help Parents to Visualize Surgery

A 6-month-old baby named Archie is diagnosed with a condition known to be Sagittal Synostosis - as the brain grows, the skull expands to the front and back, distorting the head shape. Though the situation is not life-threatening, his parents have a difficult choice to make. But thanks to the innovative VR technology, they can visualize the changes that could happen beforehand.

Also read: Introducing Electrically Switchable Nanoantenna for Hologram Tech

Virtual Reality Solution

Archies condition, if not treated, might impair his speech and language, followed by an increase in intracranial pressure. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children has offered an excellent opportunity for his parents to be the first in leveraging the AI platform that predicts the result of the operation. VR allowed them to see their baby's head generated from a CT scan from all angles during their first visit.

The environment shows the baby's head shape in 2 different colors - grey indicates the present form, and green is the predicted change after the surgery. The tech is used for visualization and understanding the difference brought by the procedure and encourages suggesting potential changes to the surgeon.



Informed Consent

The hospital's consultant pediatric neurosurgeon - Dr. Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, mentioned that VR highlights the needed information of what will happen once the surgery is done. He added, "Now they sign the consent form; it's what I would call truly informed consent." This sort of immersive tech could eventually revolutionize surgery, where surgical practices are done with the control and power offered to patients and their family members. But this is not an anytime soon venture, but most would take place in 10 or maybe 20-years' time.



Surgical Procedure

Archie's surgery involves the placement of a compact spring into his skull that will immediately start its action of correcting the head shape. The spring's insertion and effect can be seen through the VR. The approach was introduced 13 years ago by Dr. Jeelani, which helped reduce blood transfusions by 90%. 

Though the method is introduced for a specific condition, we can hope that it can be applied to the rest of the surgery areas. Archie's mom - Amanda, said, given a choice to do the VR, assured them that they were doing the right thing, and to see before and after using it was a great relief.