Hologram shows patient’s heart during surgery

Hologram shows patient’s heart during surgery
A team of engineers and physicians have used a holographic display to improve operator accuracy during a procedure to treat irregular heartbeat.

The team, led by Jennifer N. Avari Silva, MD, associate professor of paediatrics at the School of Medicine and Jonathan Silva, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, used a Microsoft HoloLens headset with custom software during a cardiac ablation procedure on patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. 

During a conventional ablation procedure, a technician controls catheters while the physician views the images on monitors presented in two planes, with they physician mentally creating an image of the heart during the procedure. 

The custom software developed for the HoloLens converts data from the catheters fed into the patient’s heart into a geometrical holographic image hovering above the patient, allowing the physician to use their gaze to guide the controls. 

Using this method, the system, called the enhanced electrophysiology visualisation and interaction system (ELVIS), creates a 3D digital image of a patient’s electroanatomic maps, providing a picture of the inside of the heart which can be measured and manipulated during the operation. 

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