Key Improvements in 3-D and 4-D Technology

Key Improvements in 3-D and 4-D Technology

3-D printing is leveraged in the surgical fields. It is the making of complex 3-D objects from computer-powered designs.

Fremont, CA: There have been ground-breaking advances in 3-dimensional technologies in the last few years, not only in surgical and medical fields but also in daily lives outside of work, with new features in computer design programs, mobile phones, and movies. 4-dimensional imaging captures 3-D images over time. These technologies are very important in cardiology, especially in interventional cardiology. Presently, innovations in both 3-D and 4-D technologies have been developed. 

3-D Holograms

This innovative technology was exhibited at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2019 meeting. It transforms live transesophageal echo imaging into real-time 3-D holographic video in the cath lab to assist in structural heart procedures. The 3-D hologram is shown on a display screen, and the interventional cardiologist uses hand movements and switches to change the image orientation without breaking the sterile field. It also allows the operator to see the tools in the cath lab, including catheters, in real-time in a 3-D format. This technology does not require users to wear 3-D glasses.

3-D Printing

3-D printing is leveraged in the surgical fields. It is the making of complex 3-D objects from computer-powered designs. This technology has been used in structural heart procedures in the last few years, where these 3-D models is printed from a patient’s magnetic resonance imaging, CT, or 3-D ultrasound images. These 3-D printed structures are helpful in procedural planning and device sizing and help operators practice dry runs and perform pre-procedural navigation.

HeartFlow Planner

This is a real-time, non-invasive virtual device for coronary artery disease intervention. It empowers interventional cardiologists to virtually map vessels on a 3-D coronary tree, with color codes showing the fractional flow reserve-computed tomography values for each vessel as measured by a computational fluid dynamics algorithm. This appears to be the best tool for percutaneous coronary intervention planning in vessels with the disease, as it strives to offer a non-invasive way to find whether a stenotic lesion is potentially flow limiting.

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