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The heart of the future

The Living Heart project unites the most advanced science and computational tools to model the cardio-vascular system. Doing so will greatly improve the efficacy of medical therapies and open the way to personalized medicine.

Producing a realistic simulation of an entire heart starts by converting MRI images into 3D models then applying equations of flow and mechanics. These digital models are then imported into a fully immersive 3D environment that enables clinicians to take a deep dive into the heart itself. Together, these visualizations define the Living Heart project, and provide doctors with powerful diagnostic tools.

Whereas doctors only had static x-rays to guide their vision in the past, 3D reconstructions paint a much clearer picture. Having these tools will save time, money, and avoid invasive interventions based on a doctor's best guess. Since doctors need not worry about legal issues in the digital realm, they can explore virtual what-if scenarios to arrive at the best possible choices for a specific patient.

"We no longer have to rely on experience, intuition, or just luck to decide what would be best for our specific patient," says Elazer Edelman, senior cardiologist and professor at MIT and Harvard. "Computational modeling is going to be part of the medicine of the future - and the future is not so far away."

Courtesy DassaultSystemes.

--Lance Farrell

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