For the first time, cardiologists at UC Davis Health conducted a heart procedure with 4D holographic software known as Holographic Therapeutic Guidance (HTG). Join Dr. Gagan Singh, Interventional Cardiologist and Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program, as he explains how the technology works and why it’s so groundbreaking.
4D Holograms in Cardiac Procedures a Reality
Advancements of structural heart procedures are on the minds and fingertips of cardiologists everywhere. At UC Davis Health, advancements of this mission may now incorporate 4D holographic software to overcome traditional visual limitations. Such innovations as this holographic therapeutic guidance (HTG) can help to increase the scale and reproducibility of these effective therapies.
Challenges of Structural Heart Procedures
For cardiologists like Dr. Gagan Singh, structural heart procedures require precise imaging guidance for their success. Without proper imaging, these procedures cannot be performed accurately, making imaging an integral part of the process. Traditional imaging methods, such as transesophageal echo, have their limitations, and the process of imaging and delivering therapy needs to be made more effective and meaningful. This is where the HTG software may be a solution.
Could the HTC Software be a Solution?
The HTG software is a 4D holographic software that enables doctors to visualize the heart and its structures in three dimensions, without having to rely on flat screens. This means that doctors can manipulate and visualize the structures in front of them, getting a better sense of where they are and what they need to do during the procedure. According to Dr. Singh, “Everything that we do in the structural heart space is totally determined by what we can or cannot see.” The HTG software is relatively new and still in its early stages of development, but it has already shown tremendous potential in making structural heart procedures more efficient, reproducible, and effective.
The Strength of HTG
One of the biggest strengths of the HTG software is its ability to provide doctors with a real 3D structure of the heart, which can significantly reduce the learning curve and level the playing field for complex procedures. Dr. Singh highlights the challenges and time commitment of traditional approaches of patiently collecting 2D images then in only the cardiologist’s mind are the 2D images constructed into 3D; requiring exceptional training and expertise. With the HTG software, not only are structures already 3D, but doctors can see the heart's structures in real-time, making the procedure more efficient and accurate. For patients, this means improvement of long-term outcomes.
The Limitation of HTG
The HTG software's potential to make structural heart procedures more efficient, accurate, and effective cannot be overstated. However, it is still in its early stages of development, and there are some challenges and pitfalls that need to be addressed. For example, the cost of the software and the equipment needed to use it may be prohibitive for some hospitals or clinics. The learning curve for using the software may also be steep, and some doctors may resist the change and prefer to stick to traditional imaging methods.
The Future Looks Optimistic for Structural Health Procedures
Dr. Singh is encouraged by this breakthrough technology and encourages us to reflect and keep an open mind about its utility in structural heart procedures. He reminds us that Hollywood effects are cinematic, but that the same procedures over the past two decades are starkly different than where they started. The future looks promising, and we can expect to see more advancements in this area in the years to come. Ultimately, the goal is to improve patient outcomes and make structural heart procedures more accessible and effective for patients worldwide.