Skip to main content
Learn more about advertising with us.

Virtual reality project allows doctors to teleport into a heart

“I can literally see where the blood’s coming from and where it’s going in a way that I never had,” says Dr. Christopher Knoll, a Stanford pediatric cardiology fellow. In other health IT news, an ER doctor wins millions for his “Star Trek” inspired device, scientists hijack bacteria for good, and an entrepreneur develops an app that can serve as a GPS in emergency situations.

Stat: Virtual Reality Takes Doctors On A ‘Fantastic Voyage’ Inside Hearts
Stanford University offers doctors a “room” with a unique view — the inside of an infant’s beating heart, valves opening and closing, blood cells rushing past. (Well, it’s unique if you discount the campy 1966 sci-fi thriller, Fantastic Voyage.) The virtual reality project tackles what has always been a major challenge for medical trainees: how to visualize a heart in action in three dimensions. Through VR goggles, they can now travel inside the heart and explore congenital heart defects as if they have been shrunken to the size of a peanut. (Piller, 4/13)

The Washington Post: Self-Funded Team Led By An ER Doctor Wins ‘Star Trek’-Inspired Competition
A seven-member, self-funded team consisting of four siblings won the international X Prize tricorder consumer medical competition — yes, inspired by the “Star Trek” gizmo — besting 312 entrants from 38 countries, many with corporate and government backing. Final Frontier Medical Devices, led by Basil Harris, a suburban Philadelphia emergency room doctor, won the $2.6 million top prize. The open competition, launched in 2012, challenged applicants to produce a lightweight, affordable health kit that diagnoses and interprets 13 health conditions and continuously monitors five health vitals. (Heller, 4/13)

Stat: Gloves Armed With Glowing, Green Bacteria May Detect Toxins
[Xinyue] Liu and her lab-mates … managed to keep the bacteria alive in gloves and bandages, parts of which glow when they detect certain chemicals. The technology is not yet perfect, but Liu’s hope is that it could at some point be used to pick up dangerous toxins or the chemical signs of disease. (Boodman, 4/13)

Kansas City Star: Physician-Entrepreneur Testing App That Serves As A GPS For Medical Emergencies
Technology had already condensed thousands of pages of maps into turn-by-turn directions to almost anywhere on earth. [Jeff] Dunn figured it could do the same for the lengthy Code Blue checklists. So he left medicine, started a company in Olathe called Redivus Health and teamed with four other doctors and a few programmers to develop an app called Code Blue that tells you what to do and when to do it. (Marso, 4/12)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.