Stanford Virtual Heart featured at Oculus Connect 4


Courtesy of Oculus

David Axelrod, MD, pediatric cardiologist in the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center and co-creator of the Stanford Virtual Heart, attended the Oculus Connect 4 conference this week in San Jose where he appeared as an expert on a panel about the applications of VR in healthcare.

The two-day conference hosted by Oculus draws thousands of people from around the world to demo new virtual reality (VR) technologies, and discuss ways to further advance the technology. Using VR in healthcare is at the forefront of these potential advancements, and doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford are helping to lead the way.

The highlight for Axelrod was listening to Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address, during which Zuckerberg highlighted the Stanford Virtual Heart as one of the most exciting virtual reality projects of the year.

Mark Zuckerberg

Courtesy of Oculus

“It was thrilling to hear Mark’s enthusiasm for our Virtual Heart.”

“We developed this project to transform how patients and medical trainees learn about congenital heart defects,” said Axelrod. “To know that our program is relevant to a much wider audience is an inspiration.”

The Stanford Virtual Heart has been called a “fantastic voyage” inside the human heart, and its intent is to explain complex congenital heart defects, which are some of the most difficult medical conditions to teach and understand. Axelrod has led the development of the Stanford Virtual Heart experience, which helps families understand their child’s heart conditions by employing a new kind of interactive visualization that goes far beyond diagrams, plastic models and hand-drawn sketches. Users put on a VR headset and use handheld remote controls to rotate the heart, open it and inspect its different pieces, including various heart defects, as well as “teleport” inside to see the interior of the heart’s chambers and vessels. For medical trainees, the Stanford Virtual Heart provides an immersive and engaging new way to learn about the two dozen most common and complex congenital heart anomalies by allowing them to walk around inside the affected heart to see how the blood is flowing, and watch how a particular defect interferes with the heart’s normal function.

The Stanford Virtual Heart was produced by Lighthaus Inc. with support from Oculus, a subsidiary of Facebook.


2 Responses to “Stanford Virtual Heart featured at Oculus Connect 4”

  1. Claire Fitzgerald

    This is indeed a miracle & will save so many of our children. Thanks to all the team working so many hours to perfect this.



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