About the Project
The 3D Heart Project is a scientific and clinical research project that uses advanced immersive imaging technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to assist in the visualisation, measurement and interpretation of medical images of the heart.
The aims of the Project are three-fold:
1. Help patients and their relatives to gain a better understanding of their condition.
2. Improve planning of cardiac surgical procedures in patients.
3. Train healthcare professionals in different types of heart defects.
Many patients affected with structural heart disease have a poor understanding of their heart condition. In addition, healthcare professionals have difficulty planning complex heart surgeries or understanding different types of heart defects. We aim at solving these issues with our new and enhanced imaging technique. Accurate understanding of a heart abnormality is essential for effective surgery and catheter intervention.
We offer a software that is able to project standard medical images of the heart of a patient, for example 3D echocardiography images, into a virtual reality or augmented reality environment. The result is an immersive beating 3D projection of the heart which can be visualised from all sides and angles, and easily manipulated intuitively through gesture control. We are developing the relevant tools for manipulating and sharing images. Our technology will ultimately improve visualisation of complex heart structures.
Virtual reality is a set of images and sounds, produced by a computer, that seem to represent a place or a situation that a person can take part in.
Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information.
Our system is able to project standard medical images of the heart of a patient, for example 3D echocardiography images, into a virtual reality or augmented reality environment. We are currently planning extension of this work to include all imaging modalities: ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography.
Congenital heart disease is the most common group of malformations in newborn babies. One in every 250 newborn babies will have to undergo cardiac surgery or catheter intervention. Patients have their own particular variation of their heart condition, so careful individualised imaging is essential to plan cardiac surgery and other interventions.
Team & Collaborators
The Team is composed of 2 word-class surgeons in paediatric cardiology based at Evelina London Children’s Hospital (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust), and 5 biomedical researchers and engineers based at King’s College London School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences with unique expertise in computational medical imaging and software development. The Team is supported by a dedicated Project Manager and a Steering Group which includes independent scientists, clinicians and members of the patient community. More recently, we engaged our In-House Designer in the Project. You can find information about the team members on the 'Meet the Team' page of this website.
The 3D Heart Project is a close collaboration between Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. Both organisations are based in London, United Kingdom, and share 2 campus sites located in the Waterloo and London Bridge areas.
We collaborate with the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation (ECHO): www.echo-uk.org. ECHO provides support for children and young people with heart conditions, and their families.
In addition, our NIHR-funded Cardiovascular MedTech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operative (https://cardiovascularmic.nihr.ac.uk), in close partnership with ECHO, have gathered a Paediatric Heart Disease Patient and Public Involvement Group. The Group consists of adolescent heart disease patients, parents and carers of children with heart conditions and is set up to guide clinical research, make it more effective, efficient, accessible and patient focussed.
Yes, we have recently applied for funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Invention for Innovation programme. We are engaging with industrial partners, who have kindly supported our grant applications. In addition, we seek investment for the creation of a spin-out company. Please contact Dr Marusela Oliveras for further details. You can find contact details on the "Contact Us" page of this website.