EDITORS CHOICE 11.01.16

Google Cardboard VR helps doctors mend heart

google cardboad

Google Cardboard has been used by doctors to help surgeons perform surgery on a four-month old child. The surgery was performed by cardiovascular surgeon Dr Redmond Burke at the Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA.

The patient, Teegan Lexcen, was born with a small, malformed heart and had no left lung. Her fragile frame meant that the situation was complicated and meant that the surgeon needed any edge to be had.

Dr Juan-Carlos Muniz, head of Nicklaus Children's MRI department, converted 2D scans into stereoscopic images, loaded them onto an iPhone. Google Cardboard was then used to help cardiovascular surgeon Burke visualise the images and immerse himself in the details.

After studying the shape of Lexcen’s heart, Burke was able to determine the best place to make the incision for the surgery. The surgery last seven hours and was a success.

The usage of Google Cardboard in this instance just goes to show the how the adoption of virtual reality is changing the healthcare industry. Previously, employing VR was a costly as it required the purchase of high-end HUD units, such as the Oculus Rift. However with cost effective solutions appearing on the market, healthcare is starting to use VR more.