There are around thirteen babies in the United Kingdom that are diagnosed with congenital heart disease every day. These are heart conditions that develop while babies are still in their mothers’ wombs. They need to undergo one or more procedures to aid their heart condition.
Researchers from the King’s College London and Evelina London Children’s Hospital have developed a new virtual reality technology that could provide positive outcomes for patients needing surgical procedures to address congenital heart disease.
The researchers are hoping that the virtual technology they developed along with medical procedures will reduce the operating hours and would lessen the need for patients to undergo multiple surgeries. The goal is to improve the experiences and results for the patients. These researchers are hoping that the technology can be used regularly soon.
The trials that were conducted for this technology were received positively by surgeons. Analyzing the patients’ hearts is easier for them. Echocardiograms were used by the researchers to develop the VR (virtual reality) heart. The surgeons also shared that it boosted how confident they are in conducting procedures and helps them a lot in decision-making. The researchers of this technology have received funding to help them include two new kinds of scans into their system, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT).
“Congenital heart disease is the most common cause of birth defects in babies born in the UK. Every year thousands of heart operations and other procedures are performed for children and adults with congenital heart disease to stop them developing heart failure. Some people will need several procedures during their lifetime.
“This new technology could help to make congenital heart disease surgery even more successful. It could also support people to better understand the heart or blood vessel abnormalities they are born with and what is being proposed to mend them, which can be empowering for people living with congenital heart disease.” – Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, Associate Medical Director of British Heart Foundation.
The British Heart Foundation launched a campaign to earn the support they need to continue the development of this technology. This innovation could help the medical industry resolve heart and circulatory illnesses. If successful, it could help address other medical conditions aside from heart diseases.
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