3D technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D printing provide doctors with more information than they can see with 3D images on 2D displays, making the tools valuable in surgical planning at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). UCSF hosts one of the premier academic medical centers in the world providing high-ranking care across many specialties and supporting extensive medical research and innovation efforts.
In this blog we sit down with Dr. Jesse Courtier, Pediatric Radiologist, who specializes in utilizing Augmented Reality for research and patient care at UCSF.
What is the driver for using 3D technology (AR/VR, 3D Printing) at UCSF?
“At UCSF, we are a referral center for very complex surgeries across a number of subspecialties. As such, the degree of surgical case planning required is especially high. Medical imaging plays a critical role in this planning. We have found that 3D imaging provides surgeons with important additional conceptual information for planning of these complex cases that is beyond what is achievable with simple 3D reconstruction on 2D displays. Personally, as a Pediatric Radiologist, the ability to convey complex information from the CTs and MRIs in a way that is clear and understandable to my surgical colleagues is critical.
“3D technologies such as 3D printing and AR (my area of focus), provide a powerful tool to help bridge the gap between the 2D world of radiology and the 3D real world of surgery. Further, from the surgical standpoint, finding methods to reduce the overall cognitive load encountered during these complex cases through sophisticated planning is an additional welcome benefit.”