Virtual medicine: Utilization of the advanced cardiac imaging patient avatar for procedural planning and facilitation.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2018 Jan - Feb;12(1):16-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Nov 16. Shinbane JS1, Saxon LA2.
Advances in imaging technology have led to a paradigm shift from planning of cardiovascular procedures and surgeries requiring the actual patient in a "brick and mortar" hospital to utilization of the digitalized patient in the virtual hospital. Cardiovascular computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) digitalized 3-D patient representation of individual patient anatomy and physiology serves as an avatar allowing for virtual delineation of the most optimal approaches to cardiovascular procedures and surgeries prior to actual hospitalization. Pre-hospitalization reconstruction and analysis of anatomy and pathophysiology previously only accessible during the actual procedure could potentially limit the intrinsic risks related to time in the operating room, cardiac procedural laboratory and overall hospital environment. Although applications are specific to areas of cardiovascular specialty focus, there are unifying themes related to the utilization of technologies.
The virtual patient avatar computer can also be used for procedural planning, computational modeling of anatomy, simulation of predicted therapeutic result, printing of 3-D models, and augmentation of real time procedural performance. Examples of the above techniques are at various stages of development for application to the spectrum of cardiovascular disease processes, including percutaneous, surgical and hybrid minimally invasive interventions. A multidisciplinary approach within medicine and engineering is necessary for creation of robust algorithms for maximal utilization of the virtual patient avatar in the digital medical center. Utilization of the virtual advanced cardiac imaging patient avatar will play an important role in the virtual health care system. Although there has been a rapid proliferation of early data, advanced imaging applications require further assessment and validation of accuracy, reproducibility, standardization, safety, efficacy, quality, cost effectiveness, and overall value to medical care.