FAQs

You can find answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions on this page. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email the Project Manager: Dr Marusela Oliveras

About the Project

What is the 3D Heart Project? Return to top

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.

What are the aims of the 3D Heart Project? Return to top

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.

What problem is the Project addressing? Return to top

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.

What is the solution that the Project offers? Return to top

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.

How is the Project funded? Return to top

This work is independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Invention for Innovation programme (reference number: II-LA-0716-20001).

The Technology

What is virtual reality? Return to top

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.

What is augmented reality? Return to top

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.

What modality of images does the Project focus on? Return to top

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.

Why are you applying the technology to congenital heart disease first? Return to top

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

Who are the Team? Return to top

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.

Which organisations are involved in this Project? Return to top

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.

Do you collaborate with any patient organisations? Return to top

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.

Do you seek industrial partners or investors? Return to top

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.

Getting involved

How can I get involved in this project? Return to top

Contact us! We would love to hear from you and collaborate with you. Please use the Contact Form on the "Contact Us" page of this website, or e-mail us!