by John R. Fischer
, Staff Reporter | October 10, 2019
Medical video game designer Level Ex has created new levels to its Cardio Ex gaming app as part of a new collaboration with Dutch tech giant, Royal Philips.
The new additions will be used by Philips to train interventional cardiologists in the use of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), a catheter-based imaging technology that enables clinicians to visualize blood vessels from the inside out. In addition, Philips’ Instant Wave-Free Ratio (iFR) technology is now integrated into select levels within Cardio Ex.
“This introduces a whole new realm of trying to analyze tests. IVUS has really been introduced to improve patient outcomes and decision-making for physicians, but not all physicians use it. It’s a newer technology that they need to understand in terms of how to interpret images, how to use the images, what they mean, and how they inform better decisions when they are in front of the patients,” Eric Gantwerker, MD, MMSc (Med Ed), FACS vice president and medical director of Level Ex, told HCB News. “Its integration here allows them to interact with that type of technology in the sense of learning what the images mean and what decisions have to be based on those images.”
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The inclusion of IVUS marks the beginning of an expansion of the game promised back when it debuted in March 2019. Among the capabilities offered in this and future expansions are those that are necessary in general cardiology, electrophysiology and peripheral interventions. Current skills taught in the game revolve around decision-making for treating certain lesions, determining the correct sizing of stents and correct inflation of balloons, and how to manage complex lesions. https://www.dotmed.com/news/story/46586
The game also provides clinicians with an understanding of how IVUS moves within vessels and how it can dynamically show lesions. It depicts findings in real time based on the vessel characteristics that would be shown on the IVUS readout, as well as the iFR, providing real-time rendering and real-time calculations to the clinician.
In addition to training cardiologists in how to analyze and make decisions based on images from IVUS, the game seeks to teach them how to measure vessel size and the implications of incorrect vessel size.
“One thing we really focus on is complications downstream of your decision. If you make an incorrect decision or incorrect calculation of the size of the vessel, then the stent that’s placed is either too small or big,” said Gantwerker. “You can actually see that, as opposed to something that’s very preprogrammed and predetermined, so it’s much more interesting for the physician.”
Other technologies addressed in the new levels include iFR, laser atherectomy, and other Philips’ products that go hand-in-hand with the IVUS technology.
Users will be able to access Philips cases, which are still being built, through the Cardio Ex app. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play.