by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | June 29, 2021
Minnesota’s CentraCare has become the first health system in the world to successfully complete a structural heart procedure using 4D hologram technology.
Developed by EchoPixel, the solution was used to guide a WATCHMAN implant, a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for atrial fibrillation patients in need of an alternative to blood thinners to prevent stroke. The technology works by pairing together EchoPixel’s preplanning True3D software and its intraoperative Holographic Therapy Guidance (HTG) software platform.
“EchoPixel preplanning True3D software helped us reduce our procedure times by more than 27% and increase optimal procedure outcome by 20%. EchoPixel-HTG is taking us to the next level,” interventional cardiologist Dr. Jacob Dutcher, who serves as director of the structural heart program at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center, said in a statement.
Utilizing HTG, a 4D technology, the heart team was able to assess the patient’s specific organs and tissues as though they were actual, physical objects. Combined with the True3D software, the solution created a mixed reality that made the procedure more precise and improved accuracy, while reducing operation time and risk of complication. It also helped speed up recovery.
The virtual reality capabilities of True3D software were previously put to use in 2017 to complete a valve replacement
at the Adult Congenital Heart Program, a joint program of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Health. Manufacturer EchoPixel, also was the first to introduce an intraoperative software that created a touchless interactive 3D anatomical imaging experience
to support structural heart procedures in the cath lab, OR and hybrid OR's.
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center is the first in the world to use EchoPixel’s technology both before and during a structural heart procedure, says Dutcher. “As one of the world’s largest WATCHMAN implanting sites, we are always looking for new ways to advance and improve patient care, and are proud to be the first center in the world to offer this novel imaging technology.”