Fogarty graduate EchoPixel helped revolutionize heart surgery with its True3D, a turnkey surgical planning software that creates a hologram of the heart for study before an incision is ever made. With FDA 510(k) clearance, True3D has already been implemented by more than 20% of the nations’ congenital heart defect programs and is rapidly gaining adoption in structural heart programs. It has played an essential role in several high-profile cases, including the 17-hour surgery at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford that successfully separated the conjoined Sandoval twins.
Now EchoPixel is extending its vision to create the ORs and cath labs of the future with the first software platform that enables physicians to use a digital twin of a patient experienced as a 4D interactive hologram. This Holographic Therapy Guidance (HTG) offers improved imaging that simplifies complex minimally invasive image-guided therapies.
Cutting-edge technology offers better outcomes
EchoPixel HTG allows the entire heart team to interact with a patient’s specific organs and tissues as if they were actual physical objects, which saves time, improve accuracy and patient experience, and speeds recovery. By combining these pre-planning and intra-operative technologies, physicians can reduce complex heart procedure time times by more than 27% while increasing optimal procedure outcomes by 20%.
Heart procedures are among the most medically complex—and crucial—in healthcare. For decades, physicians have depended on a combination of insights gleaned from 2D-imaging, fluoroscopy and echocardiography to tailor a procedure for each individual patient.
“Physicians are increasingly embracing less-invasive therapies that provide better outcomes for complex surgeries, but these procedures pose new and unique visualization demands as success is limited by 2D views of a 3D patient,” says Sergio Aguirre, founder and CEO of EchoPixel.
One of HTG’s most valuable differences is that it doesn’t require excess head gear or additional glasses. This unfettered access allows the physician to have an enhanced awareness of their catheters and tools relative to a patient’s anatomy as well as review the planning images throughout a procedure. With the physician in control of the holographic digital twin, they can turn it, view cross sections and see the valves open and close as the heart beats.
A successful procedure proves its merits
Most recently Jacob Dutcher, MD, a renowned interventional cardiologist and director of the structural heart program at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center at CentraCare, one of the largest health centers in Minnesota, successfully completed the first structural heart procedure using this 4D hologram technology to conduct a WATCHMAN case, a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem who need an alternative to blood thinners. Approximately six million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition.
Nationwide, WATCHMAN procedure times approach one hour, and while CentraCare already had WATCHMAN times that were some of the best in the world, the first surgery using EchoPixel’s software only took about 25 minutes.
“We are very excited about the advances we have made with our technologies and partnerships we have forged,” said Sergio. “We are looking forward to continue working with more hospitals and health centers with the aim to vastly improve patient outcomes and care.”
Photo courtesy of CentraCare