Cutting-Edge Medical Virtual Reality

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is now using virtual reality imaging technology to see inside children’s hearts and brains like never before. Our physicians use this tool to plan surgeries and engage patients and their families in a whole new way.

By combining F-16 flight simulator technology with Virtual Reality, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital surgeons can infuse traditional 2D medical images (CT, MRI, etc.) can be fused together to create a 360 degree reconstruction of a patient’s anatomy. Surgeons can “fly through” the anatomy and pre-plan surgery similar to how a fighter pilot pre-flies through their mission. Surgeons and patients alike can view this reconstruction on a wall-mounted viewer or in virtual reality.

Medical Virtual Reality is currently being used by doctors in our neuroscience and heart and vascular departments.


Arion's Story

Arion's been running track since she was six. She started soccer at ten. At 15 this gifted athlete was unexpectedly diagnosed with an abnormal tangle of blood vessels deep inside her brain. See how pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Haridas, used medical virtual reality to help Arion and her parents understand her condition and prepare them on the best possible options for her care so that ultimately, she could return to sports.

Langley and Family VR Goggle for VR

Virtual Reality

Using virtually reality goggles and a set of remote controls the surgeon, patient and their family can walk around inside the patient’s own anatomy, seeing it from all angles and gaining unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the child’s complex condition.

Surgical Planning

Surgeons can “fly through” the brain in virtual reality to locate medical issues and then study them from every angle. This 360 degree view is important when creating a sophisticated surgical plan. Surgeons can pre-plan by testing surgical approaches to find the best option based on the reconstruction of the patient’s anatomy, leading to increased surgical efficiency.

BayCare surgical theater
Family Engagement for VR

Patient Experience 

Doctors can virtually walk a patient through their own anatomy to teach patients and their families about their diagnosis in a way they can understand. Patients and families are better informed and so they ask better questions. They gain a deeper, more complete understanding of their diagnosis and treatment. This experience can add a level of comfort and confidence moving forward.