Free remote medical VR services offered in COVID-19 fight

June 25, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Free remote medical VR services offered in COVID-19 fight
Virtual and augmented reality-based healthcare services startup Surgical Theater has announced that it will make its virtual reality technology available at no charge to any hospital in the world seeking to navigate inside a COVID-19 patient's lungs.

Using patient-specific MRI and CT scans, the company creates a 3D, 360° immersive virtual reality (VR) environment that allows physicians to navigate and "walk" inside the patient's anatomy from every possible angle. The technology, says the company, can help medical teams better visualize the extent of each individual patient's disease and, in the case of a COVID-19-positive patient, its precision VR will be able to highlight specifically identified lesions attributed to the virus and differentiate them from other types of lung damage or chronic pulmonary disease.

"Surgical Theater recognizes the acute need for precision imaging tools as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections," says Moty Avisar, Co-Founder and CEO of Surgical Theater. "This global crisis needs a global response. A lot of doctors are walking in the dark with this, so, we want to provide hospitals with tools to better understand and treat patients with COVID-19. Our technology is utilized by top medical institutions in the United States, and now, we are offering our imaging solutions for the fight against COVID-19."

Its technology, says the company, will be especially helpful in understanding the acute situation of patients with pre-existing conditions who are among the most vulnerable. Volume-rendered, visual representation of COVID-19-specific lesions differentiated from pre-existing conditions could effectively enhance the utility of chest CT images to better understand disease progression, resolution, and long-term effects of this novel virus. The volume measurements of affected tissue in lungs based on the patient's own scans could greatly enhance treatment algorithms currently being developed for this pandemic.

Many COVID-19 patients develop pneumonia, which can progress to respiratory failure and sometimes death. COVID-19 pneumonia is different from more common forms of bacterial pneumonia, and the differences show up in chest CT scans. Most striking are cloudy lesion patterns that resemble shards of glass or reticular lines within the opaque lesions that look like irregular paving tiles, which occur around the peripheries of both

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