When considering the role of 3D printing or virtual reality in medical decision making, the first step is to convert patient specific medical images (CT, MRI) into the segmented anatomy that is relevant to the medical decision making pathway.
For example, when a radiologist looks at a film, years of training allow him to separate normal tissue from abnormal tissue and describe the findings. These differences (such as knowing the difference between tumor and normal tissue) is very difficult. But if the different segments can be visualized on imaging datasets, then the various segments can be identified with CAD software to generate the clinically relevant segments in 3D model form. As a result of segmentation, a heart can be separated out of the CT or MRI dataset to create a 3D model (segment). Once the heart is segmented into a 3D digital file, it can be utilized by a number of technologies such as any 3D printer or virtual or augmented reality formats.
The expertise it takes to successfully deploy a segmentation service is a big lift and a barrier to entry for many programs. The segmentation hardware and software licenses are very expensive as is the expertise needed to execute the programs.
Sister M. Pieta Keller, F.S.G.M., a bioengineer for Jump Simulation, carefully segments a heart for 3D modeling.
The Advanced Imaging and Modeling (AIM)
initiative at Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center has been dedicated to providing this service to all of our patients at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois
since 2012. We have a team of engineers and medical professionals who are experts in the 3D modeling workflow and are developing new methods for automating this process. As our expertise and ability to scale our service grows, we want to serve the needs of anyone who would benefit from this program.
The segmentation service within the AIM initiative is dedicated to providing this service to those who need it at no cost.