Virtual Reality (VR) is the illusion of three-dimensional, interactive, computer-generated reality where sight, sound, and sometimes even touch are simulated to create pictures, sounds, and objects that actually seen real.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is been a game changer in the current education system with the advent of new technology. VR and AR is a versatile platform for education and training. Especially, in the medical domain, it can be used in a classroom to improve student learning and training.

(Image Courtesy : https://www.fortune.com)

Particularly in the field of medical science VR plays a vital role in surgery planning. It allows the doctors to visualize their image datasets using volume rendering and immerse completely into the body to go around the body organs. This immersive experience helps the doctors to hold the objects and provides an opportunity to zoom-in, zoom-out, rotate etc., look at the problem closely and plan their surgery more accurately and precisely.

(Image curtsey: https://innovatemedtec.com/digital-health/virtual-augmented-reality)

This virtual reality provides intuitive information in a 3D space to realize the problems and plan accordingly. Physicians or surgeons can do the volume rendering of images and visualize and operate virtually, helps to walk around the 3D objects. Especially in the field of medical domain, it’s too complex for a beginner to understand, but VR helps them to do it repeatedly and learn thoroughly. The main characteristics of VR are

• User becomes a part of the simulated environment.
• Uses devices like HMD’s, Digital Spectacles to provide 3D virtual space in user’s world.
• The first “immersive VR systems” have been the flight simulators by a mixture of real hardware and virtual imagery.
• Gives an opportunity to the doctors and surgeons to fly inside a tumor and look around accurately before they get into real-time surgery

In our company, we are focussing on the design and development of VR/AR modules for the surgery simulation especially in the case of orthopedics and dentistry.

Manipal Aphasia Therapy App – the MATApp

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language but does not affect intelligence. When a person suffers from aphasia, there is an impairment in the ability of the person when speaking and understanding others. Importantly, aphasia does not impair the person’s intelligence.

Aphasia results from brain damage or injury to language parts of the brain usually after a stroke and it has been observed that stroke is one of the leading cause of death and disability in India. According to a study by Tonkonogy (1986), stroke is a common cause of aphasia. Significantly, among 60 diseases and 15 health conditions, it was found that aphasia showed the largest negative relationship with the health-related quality of life measure in long-term patient care settings as stated by Lam and Wodchis in their 2010 work.

It may be noted that Aphasia may affect individuals at different levels, either as mild or severe versions. A person may be able to converse yet have trouble finding the right word or understanding complex conversations in case of mild aphasia. In this case, it may affect mainly a single aspect of language use, such as the ability to retrieve the names of objects, or the ability to put words together into sentences, or the ability to read

However in case of severe aphasia person’s ability to communicate is limited. Here, the person may say very little and may not participate in or understand any conversation at all.

Commonly, however, even multiple aspects of communication are impaired, while some channels remain accessible for a limited exchange of information. Various types of aphasia exist that affect fluency, comprehension, and repetition as given below.

Image courtesy: https://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/

Kumudha Health Tech is developing an Android App for the diagnosis and treatment of Aphaia. It’s named MATApp –

SPINAK – 3D diagnostic and treatment planning tool for spinal disorders

Scoliosis is a 3D deformity of the spine. The following figure shows its symptoms.

The scoliotic spine will have lateral curvature of more than 10º accompanied by vertebral rotation. Hence, it is called as a 3D deformity. But, at present, it is diagnosed using only frontal and lateral x-rays as shown below. Hence the diagnosis is inaccurate. A 3D deformity can’t be analyzed properly using only two x-rays.

Therefore a new diagnostic tool called “SPINAK” is developed by Kumudha Health Tech. Scoliosis is present in 2 – 4% of kids aged 10 – 16 years. In the absence of treatment, it may lead to postural problems. It may also lead to cardiac or pulmonary complications.

The advanced 3D imaging modalities like CT and MRI have limitations on assessment of 3D spinal deformities as they are obtained in sleeping position. The supine position can change the actual deformation. Although CT can provide more information for the deformity assessment, the subjects are exposed to higher levels of radiation, which leads to ethical considerations. Since the subjects with spinal deformities may have surgical implants and corrective tools, use of MRI has limitations as a diagnostic tool. Hence we have developed SPINAK which creates a 3D model of the spine using only two x-rays.

SPINAK is available worldwide through its online cloud services. If you request your doctor/consultant for SPINAK, he will upload the x-rays to our system and he will get the 3D model within 24 hours. The physician can render this model on the screen for accurate diagnosis. It also helps in accurate brace design. SPINAK can be used every year for brace modification during follow up examinations as it is radiation free.

The features of SPINAK includes

• 3D model using only two x-rays
• It also the deformity quantification report which includes 3D Cobb angle (Spinal Curvature) and Axial Vertebral Rotation
• We can 3D print the spine model on demand

• 3D printed spine can be used for surgery simulation. The surgeon can perform the mock surgery on a 3D printed model well in advance before the actual surgery

• We can also 3D print the CT/MRI data of the spine for surgical planning.

Surgical planning will reduce the risk. It will also reduce the surgical and recovery time. SPINAK can also be used for the diagnosis of Herniated disc, Spinal trauma, etc.