The Dutch-based giant Philips and the Israeli company RealView Imaging have announced the completion of a clinical study that has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using live 3D holographic visualization and interaction technology to guide minimally-invasive structural heart disease procedures. In the pilot study that involved eight patients and was conducted in collaboration with the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva, Israel, RealView’s visualization technology was used to display interactive, real-time 3D holographic images acquired by Philips’ interventional X-ray and cardiac ultrasound systems.
In addition to viewing the patient’s heart on a 2D screen, clinicians in the interventional team were able to view detailed dynamic 3D holographic images of the heart ’floating in free space’ during a minimally-invasive structural heart disease procedure, without using special eyewear. The doctors were also able to manipulate the projected 3D heart structures by literally touching the holographic volumes in front of them.“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,” said Dr. Einat Birk, pediatric cardiologist and Director of the Institute of Pediatric Cardiology at Schneider Children’s Medical Center.
The ability to reach into the image and apply markings on the soft tissue anatomy in the X-ray and 3D ultrasound images could be extremely useful for guidance of these complex procedures. Progress in image-guided therapies for heart diseases — from the opening of obstructed coronary arteries to catheter ablation therapy for heart arrhythmias and catheter-based structural heart repairs — have greatly increased the need for live 3D image guidance, to supplement today’s live 2D image guidance. Live X-ray and live 3D cardiac ultrasound imaging are typically used simultaneously to guide minimally invasive structural heart repair procedures, with the ultrasound images providing detailed insights into the heart’s soft tissue anatomy, and the X-ray imaging providing visualization of catheters and heart implants. The technological advancements in the acquisition of live 3D images to guide minimally invasive procedures have also triggered the development of novel ways to visualize the data. Following the promising results produced by this pilot study, Philips and RealView Imaging will continue to explore the clinical value of combining live 3D imaging and medical holography, both in interventional cardiology and in other clinical areas.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands