The Neurostars project
The Neurostars project aims for a breakthrough that creates a realistic 3D visualisation of the inside of the human brain. It combines multiple neuro-imaging sources accurate, realistic, full colour, interactive and establishes easy to access information for neurosurgery. Unique is its high added value visualization with advanced virtual reality that is highly relevant for clinical practice. A prototype of the software, “Augmented 3D Brain Visualizer” will be developed for key user groups patients, surgeons and students.
The software, together with algorithms for interpretation of data, will be able to synchronize data from different brain scanning sources into one single data model as input for a 3D visualisation of the inside of individual brains. The algorithms recognize crucial types of tissue (e.g. veins, brain, tumour) and patterns. A 360° specific modelling engine makes the 3D model interactive in a virtual reality environment and provides an intuitive user interface. The software will create an effective multi culture tool for training and shared decision making. An intuitive user interface will be developed so users can navigate throughout the user interface without e.g. getting lost.
For neurosurgery, it will bring better treatment outcomes for patients. The chance for complications will be reduced and the extent of tumour resection will be augmented. Planning and surgery itself will become more efficient; a navigation-simulator thoroughly prepares the surgical procedures for the neurosurgical team. Neurosurgeons will experience a significantly improved working process, reducing the chance of complications during surgery. It will also provide more effective and efficient knowledge sharing between surgeons in difficult cases, where tumours are very close to essential brain parts, e.g. for speech, vision, body movements.
Knowledge sharing will improve training of doctors and medical students through visualisation of difficult cases. Medical students and medical trainees, will experience virtual real-life patients, enhancing efficiency of the training required before they can become main surgeons. Sharing the knowledge of difficult cases will improve education and research. For patients and relatives, it will improve decision making by better understanding of the treatment and allows them to co-decide on surgery.
Eaglescience, Braincarta, iTZiT and Manzalab all have strong medical and visualisation ICT backgrounds and will perform this research and development project. INSERM/ToNIC and UMCU will closely collaborate in Neurostars prototyping. They will be co-designing and clinically validating the intermediate prototypes.
Source: The New York Times