At this week’s Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery conference (CARS 2018) in Berlin, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing in Germany will be showing off their unique software that helps to fix cardiac valves. Designed for minimally invasive procedures, which involve placing special rings that correct native valve anatomy, the software helps to identify the desired approach and predicts the chances of positive outcomes.
Using imaging data gathered from MRI, CT scans, or ultrasound, a virtual heart is created in-silico that can be examined in detail, particularly the valve in question. Once the problem is assessed, the heart can be worked on virtually, trying different rings and approaches at installing them. The results of these virtual implantations are then also analyzed using the software, helping to nail down what exactly needs to be done for each patient.
“Subsequently, the system simulates the procedure’s effect on the heart function,” in a statement said Anja Hennemuth, researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing. “We can assess how much easier the heart pumps now that the blood flows differently after inserting the ring.
The system prototype is already being used by a few clinicians in Germany, as an evaluation, but plans are to make the software capable of working with other procedures and to roll it out to more hospitals.