Washington University uses virtual reality to demonstrate COVID-19 progression
Immersive 3D video gives a better look at lung infection.
By Angie Banuelos
Around the world, the race to understand the coronavirus, slow the spread, and develop a vaccine or treatment is in full force. The symptoms of COVID-19 are simply described as fever and mild to moderate difficulty in breathing. However, a 3D COVID-19 virtual reality video from Surgical Theater helps patients and health care providers actually visualize the disease progression.
Dr. Keith Mortman, Head of Thoracic Surgery at George Washington University (GWU), has partnered with Surgical Theater, developers of VR imaging software, to develop a virtual reality video showing a 3D COVID-19 disease progression. The lung capacity is depicted in a translucent blue and abnormal areas are discolored in yellow. These areas are a visual representation of the rapid infection and inflammation to both lungs. It is created from the CT scans of an actual patient in his late 50’s, now fighting for his life. The video shows how only days earlier, he showed no symptoms.
“It’s very striking to see the various areas of infected tissue. Everything in yellow is abnormal. So, you can see how this is not confined to any one part of the lung. This affects both lungs, and it affects each lung diffusely, all different parts, said Dr. Mortman said to channel WUSA9 in this article.
For Surgical Theater, this virtual reality 3D COVID-19 video is just one example of their mission to empower patients and surgeons with virtual reality 3D video walk throughs of patient- specific information allowing for patients to step into their own anatomy and diagnosis in order to gain a deep understanding and trust needed to make complex medical decisions.
The teams at George Washington University and Surgical Theater hopes the public will see this 3D COVID-19 virtual reality video and begin to take the severity of disease spread seriously. “There is such a stark contrast between the virus-infected abnormal lung and the more healthy, adjacent lung tissue, and it’s such a contrast that you do not need an MD after your name to understand these images. I want people to see this and understand what this can do.” says Dr. Mortman.
Unfortunately, we heard today that the patient used to create this COVID-19 3D virtual reality video has died of the disease. Our hearts are with his family, his caretakers and all the others suffering from COVID-19.
To find out more about patient-centric 3D virtual reality videos, visit SurgicalTheater.net
About Our Writer
Angie Banuelos is the resident healthiAR yogi and community writer. She’s curious about innovative technologies that provide intentional solutions.