It soon may be possible to travel around polyps, over tumors and through lesions. GE designers Ludovic Avot and Yannick Le Berre combined detailed 3D data from CT and MRI scans with virtual reality design and game software to create a tool enabling physicians to journey into the deepest recesses of the body.
The system can be used to prepare for surgery or examine organs for evidence of disease. Using it is akin to walking through a room, but the room could be a patient’s brain. The prototype can be used with readily-available VR headsets, and tests with a French customer are scheduled for this year.
The two developers are also considering the potential of augmented reality—projecting technical information into the doctor’s field of view. Such technology might someday help guide operations by displaying the surgeon’s tool within the body in real time.