1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    Parents can meet unborn children for first time in 3D virtual reality-ss-composite-image-2016-11-21-16-4-large_trans-qvzuuqpflyliwib6ntmjwfsvwez_ven7c6bhu2jjnt8.png
    Virtual reality images of the baby at 26 weeks after combining ultrasound and MRI scans CREDIT: RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

    Seeing a baby in the womb for the first time on an ultrasound is a magical moment for most parents.

    But a groundbreaking new scanning technology is allowing mothers and fathers to meet their unborn children in three dimensional virtual reality for the very first time.

    The technique works by merging ultrasound imagery with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which scans segments of the womb and foetus to build a 3D model which can be brought to life by using a virtual reality headset.

    Not only does it give the best ever view of a baby in the womb, but it can also help doctors pick up problems early, because it maps the entire internal structure of the foetus - not just the outside - meaning specialists can see how vital organs are developing.

    British experts said it could also help parents bond with their children earlier. It is even possible to 3D print a model of the baby.

    "We believe that these images will bring a new experience for parents when following the development of their unborn child, said study co-author Dr Heron Werner Jr. from the Clnica de Diagnstico por Imagem, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    "The 3D foetal models combined with virtual reality immersive technologies may improve our understanding of anatomical characteristics and can be used for educational purposes and as a method for parents to visualize their unborn baby.

    MRI scanning is usually only used by doctors when an ultrasound fails to provide images of sufficiently high quality to check the development of the baby. But this is the first time the two techniques have been combined.

    The models have been shown to be remarkably similar to the postnatal appearance of the newborn baby and they can helps doctors predict difficulties when the baby is born such as problems in the airways.

    It is crucial that the airways are open and unblocked before birth, and so if doctors spotted an abnormal mass in the respiratory tract, they could make preparations for surgery to clear the obstruction as soon the baby was born.

    Parents can meet unborn children for first time in 3D virtual reality-baby2-large_trans-r9mcrwwdbt1nwdz9x8c_6r6rhd7jthpyl3xtev_g0tg.jpg
    A 3-D virtual model ultrasound view of fetus at 12 weeks

    The researchers say it will also help parents to understand malformations and make earlier treatment decisions.

    The 3D images are brought to life using Oculus Rift headsets which also play the sound of the babys heartbeat. Parents are able to look around their unborn child in virtual reality by moving their head.

    "The experience with the Oculus Rift has been wonderful," Dr. Werner said. "It provides fetal images that are sharper and clearer than ultrasound and MRI images viewed on a traditional display.

    "And the physicians can have access to an immersive experience on the clinical case that they are working on, having the whole internal structure of the foetus in 3D in order to better visualise and share the morphological information.

    So far the technique has only been trialled at one clinic in Rio de Janeiro, where it was shown to pick up internal abnormalities which required immediated post-natal surgery. But the team is now hoping to roll it out worldwide.

    Parents can meet unborn children for first time in 3D virtual reality-baby3-large_trans-qvzuuqpflyliwib6ntmjwfsvwez_ven7c6bhu2jjnt8.jpg
    A virtual reality image of the baby at 26 weeks after combining ultrasound and MRI scans CREDIT: RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

    Prof Simon Fishel, the founder and president of Care Fertility, Britains largest fertility group said: Anything that improves the opportunity to observe foetal health accurately is important, especially with advancing surgical technology that is now being used successfully on the fetus in the womb , where applicable.

    Also for many there is great advantage of bonding early on.

    Prof Charles Kingsland, of the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool, added: "This clearly is an exciting piece of work with potential benefits for diagnosing more accurately, abnormalities in unborn babies with the added potential of correcting them earlier.

    "The pictures of the unborn babies for the excited parents could also be a great asset for those who want to see their unborn babies in a way that has never been done before.

    I'm sure this technique, however will be very expensive until it has been refined.

    The technology was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

    Source: Parents can meet unborn children for first time in 3D virtual reality
    11-22-2016 11:28 PM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    Now THIS is truly amazing and a VERY practical application of VR!
    11-23-2016 12:48 PM
  3. Clinton_Stuarta's Avatar
    Expecting parents — and their families — will now be able to see their unborn babies in virtual reality..perfect!
    11-28-2016 02:05 PM
  4. pkcable's Avatar
    11-28-2016 02:53 PM
  5. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    In honor of this thread....
    LOL

    Well, I think this was actually a truly good news, not only the bad guys are using VR now
    11-28-2016 11:28 PM

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