World wide web demo shows a patient's heart chamber in Virtual Reality

Longmont 13 September 1999In the good tradition of its name, Next Dimension Imaging displays a heart chamber on the Web using virtual reality techniques. The scene is composed of objects hosted on computer systems in different continents in order to demonstrate world wide distributed scenes. The demonstration shows both, a new visualization method applied to medical imaging and the latest option of the product 3D LV-View. This product can generate highly compressed virtual reality objects of heart chambers and masses for immediate availability on the World Wide Web.


Based on the industry standard Web3D (also called VRML or Virtual Reality Modelling Language), the scene implementation allows push button and slider control of a web scene object which could represent any anatomical tissue or bone structure.

While a CD can carry only several voxel data sets, it could store up to 100,000 cardiac chambers or other anatomical structures. For instance, a database of all world wide observed heart tumours for several years could be stored on a single CD for reference, feature comparison and classification.

Principal and system architect Lothar Muench believes that the Web3D technology will have a significant impact on the health care system in general. Telemedicine and the global availability of visual case data will result in extensive changes to health care and health care education. In the present decade, the DICOM standard has advanced medical imaging. In the new decade, Web3D will unify rivalling imaging modalities. Today's imaging modalities will become tomorrow's sensor techniques, integrated by a common web-compliant visualization technology, according to his conviction.

The traditional 3D ultrasound imaging companies are contributing considerably to the clinical research and used the years to build up fairly good research application knowledge bases. Unfortunately they decided technologically for a slow pace, and never seriously addressed the huge market for advanced and leading clinical applications. The former innovators face the danger to disappear in a group of image file converting and foetus face marketeering companies, as Lothar Muench states.

The company's Web Demo applies Virtual Reality technology to medical imaging. All Web3D heart chambers are generated and stored by the 3D LV-View. The cardiac data was acquired by Dr. Derek Fyfe, Emerald Hospital Atlanta. For a limited time, a free version of the 3D PlaneView is available for download. Next Dimension Imaging licenses its technology out and also assists with advanced imaging projects and strategies.

Leslie Versweyveld

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