TCT: EchoPixel unveils 3D, holographic software for planning heart procedures

heart
EchoPixel's new offering, which is pending FDA clearance, will provide cardiologists and surgeons with a “digital twin” of a patient’s heart to help them determine the best place to put a catheter or device to treat structural heart disease. (Bryan Brandenburg/CC by-SA 3.0)

EchoPixel debuted the latest addition to what it calls its “mixed reality” medical visualization software: touchless, interactive, 3D anatomical imaging tools that will help cardiologists and surgeons plan and carry out heart procedures in the operating room or catheter lab.

The company’s True3D system earned the FDA nod in 2015 to convert anatomical data from patients into 3D virtual reality images. It is designed to help doctors who sometimes struggle to make a diagnosis or carry out an operation based on 2D images such as MRI or CT scans.

The new software uses these scans, as well as other information from echocardiography and fluoroscopic X-ray imaging, to create life-size holographic versions of organs, blood vessels and other structures that doctors can interact with like they would a real organ. 

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Introduced Friday at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual meeting, the offering will provide cardiologists and surgeons with a “digital twin” of a patient’s heart to help them determine the best place to put a catheter or device when treating structural heart disease. The software is also a road map of sorts, providing distances and angles for each patient to help doctors figure out the best way to get a device to its destination. Its FDA clearance is currently pending.

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"EchoPixel's technology lets you effortlessly interact with 3D images to better understand complex cardiac anatomy and the anatomic variability that is commonly seen in structural heart disease patients," said Saurabh Sanon, M.D., director of the Structural Heart Transcatheter Therapies program at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and a clinical associate professor of medicine at Florida Atlantic University's College of Medicine, in a statement. 

“We are currently working on a research study comparing procedure times with and without the technology, and the initial results are promising in terms of reducing procedure times and device waste. If these results continue, I think the technology will make structural heart procedures more efficient and more accessible to patients,” he added. 

Several universities and medical centers are using the company’s technology in clinical and research settings, including the Cleveland Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco, according to the company.

"Based on the complexity involved in many of the cutting-edge interventional procedures, such as Watchman and MitraClip, adoption has been largely concentrated at academic centers and large, high volume cardiology programs," EchoPixel CEO Sergio Aguirre said in the statement.

"By offering real-time, interactive mixed reality intraoperative anatomical imaging and planning capabilities, we hope to help smaller hospitals and cardiology programs adopt these cutting edge procedures and improve access to all patients," he added.

And that’s not all—EchoPixel plans to eventually integrate its True3D software with artificial intelligence and robotics to “enable the completion of more precise and personalized procedures," Aguirre said.

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