Medical Modeling in Virtual Reality

Podcast, Videos


In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I had the pleasure of speaking with Justin Sutherland, Co-founder and President of Realize Medical. We delved into a range of topics around virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional modeling, including the roles of VR in medical education, training, surgery planning, and patient education. We also discussed the barriers to widespread adoption of VR and what’s next for Realize Medical.

Here’s a preview of our discussion:

Q: Can you tell the audience about your platform, Elucis; where does the name come from and what kind of algorithmic brainpower have you put behind it? What is unique about it versus other things on the marketplace right now?

A: Elucis is one word, as the title of our platform, but the two words E…Lucis in Latin, mean “from light”. So that’s an allusion to the fact that all of these things are generated often from X rays shooting through patients, which is just a high-energy form of light. When you’re interacting with this entirely virtual environment, creating real content in front of you, that’s just light fed you from the headset into your eyes. It’s the idea behind the name.

What makes our platform different? We took things from a very careful perspective where we wanted to give physicians real precision input into the system. You can imagine that you’re creating art in 3D, and there’s a number of good applications, including one from Ottawa called masterpiece VR, where you make 3D models by waving your hands in the air. But, if you’re trying to high fidelity reproduce what’s in an image, then you want a really high-precision input.

What we did is we based our whole platform around the idea of having a hard surface. Imagine that you have a Wacom tablet, like a computer screen that you can write on, except now the Wacom tablet is simply just a desk surface in real life. You put the VR headset on, and, in the virtual environment, it’s a very elaborate 2D/3D tablet space. That’s basically the premise of our system. With that, you can use a VR stylus or controller that simply has one overlaid in virtual reality, but it’s better with an actual stylus. You can write on that surface, like you’re drawing on the image, erasing parts of the model, and defining regions where you want an algorithm to work. Then, you can just pull it off the surface and start working in the air. It’s that interaction that makes us very unique…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Justin Sutherland, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.