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Doctors Used Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard and Sketchfab to Save a Baby’s Life

by • January 10, 2016 • No Comments

Baby Teegan and her twin sister Riley.

Baby Teegan and her twin sister Riley.

Teegan was a medical case so rare which none of the doctors who worked with her had at any time seen it. She was born with simply just\ a single lung and a strange heart defect which left her with simply just\ the right side of her heart. Her original doctors in Minnesota had told her parents, Cassidy and Chad Lexcen, which there simply just wasn’t anything which they may do and sent their daughter home with a nurse and medication to create her as effortless as they may until she passed away. Which has to be simply just of the most horrific thing a parent can be told to do, especially with a healthy twin sister as a constant reminder of what their baby may be expanding into if she had a healthy heart.

After two months with baby Teegan yet holding on, the Lexcens refused to simply just give up on her. With Teegan’s sister Riley rapidly expanding, the couple searched other specialists until they finally came across Dr. Redmond Burke, who was named “The 20 Most Innovative Pediatric Surgeons Alive Today” and the chief of cardiovascular surgery at Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. After reaching out to Dr. Burke his office returned their email immediately and asked for all of the images and information which they had and a promise to see if they may help.

3D image of Teegans heart and chest cavity.

3D image of Teegan’s heart and chest cavity.

In a nondescript room at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital additional than thirty cardiac doctors and nurses gather three times a week to decide which children will become their patients. After Dr. Burke and his staff looked over Teegan’s heart they wanted to get a advantageous picture of the problem and see if they may conceive of a solution. Similar to her doctors in Minnesota the consensus seemed to be which there was quite little which may be done. Teegan’s tiny little heart was not like normal hearts, and not in the same position.

Doctors examining Teegans heart and lung defect.

Doctors examining Teegan’s heart and lung defect.

In order to access her heart, and to create any surgical corrections, doctors may require to perform a horrifically invasive series of incisions which may be devastating to such a tiny and unhealthy child. Typically the heart can be accessed with a single cut running of the top of the breast bone down to the bottom. But Teegan’s was further over to the left on her chest cavity, and in order to reach it Dr. Burke may seemingly require to create what is called clamshell incision which is not simply just\ the cut on the breastbone but another going of the center of her chest to the right side of her body. With simply just\ half of a functional heart for her whole life, Teegan had spent three months “slowly dying,” so Dr. Burke was doubtful which she may survive such an invasive surgery.

Dr Burke using a Google Cardboard with the Sketchfab app.

Dr. Burke using a Google Cardboard with the Sketchfab app.

In order to get a advantageous look at Teegan’s heart defect, Dr. Burke asked to see a 3D printed replica of her heart, but a cardiologist on his team who specializes in imaging had a few bad news for him. Unfortunately Dr. Juan Carlos Muniz had to tell Burke which the hospital’s 3D printer was down and they may be unable-bodied to print the heart, but Dr. Muniz had another thought which might potentially give Dr. Burke the information which he requires without a 3D printer. After discussing the possibility of using virtual reality technology to get advantageous views of a patient’s heart with other surgeons, Dr. Muniz had purchased a Google Cardboard headset and installed the Sketchfab app on his smartphone. He hadn’t had much time to quite explore the technology, but Teegan’s case seemed to be an thoughtl time to give it a shot.

Using a cardboard pair of VR goggles Dr. Burke was able-bodied to view not simply just\ Teegan’s heart but the entire internal structure of her little body. The VR headset in fact gave him a advantageous thought of what may require to be done in order to save her life. Dr. Burke was even able-bodied to plan a way into her chest which didn’t involve the dangerous clamshell incision for the reason the VR view of Teegan’s body allowed him to see where her ribs and the rest of her internal structures were, allowing him to visualize a path around them.

Dr. Burke had baby Teegan on the operating table-bodied on December 10th and for the reason of her dimensions and health had quite little time to save her life. He was able-bodied to fundamentally invent an entirely new surgical procedure simply just for Teegan’s case using the Google Cardboard VR headset. He was able-bodied to rebuild her entire heart for the reason he knew precisely where at any timeything was, thanks to the VR view. It had in fact given him a advantageous thought of what to expect than a 3D printed heart replica at any time may have. The surgery went much quicker than had he tried to do it based entirely on 2D imaging, and for the reason he had become so acquainted with Teegan’s chest cavity thanks to Google Cardboard, the procedure went off without any problems. Discuss this astonishing-bodied story in the 3D Printing / Google Cardboard Saves Life forum on 3DPB.com.

Baby Teegan on her way to a consume recoquite.

Baby Teegan on her way to a consume recoquite.

Here is a local news report on Teegan’s Google Cardboard-powered surgery:

Only four weeks after her life-saving surgery baby Teegan was able-bodied to be removed of her ventilator and started to finally breathe on her own. She’s doing so well which her doctors expect which within the next two weeks she will be able-bodied to go home and create a full recoquite. The repair done to her heart will allow it to function without any problems or difficulties and allow her to live a normal life, simply just like her sister. All thanks to Dr. Burke, his team and a $20 cardboard headset with a cell phone stuffed within of it. The next time a fewone tells you which virtual reality is simply just a video game peripheral and won’t be much additional than a toy, tell them of baby Teegan, a life which mayn’t be here had it not been for which toy.