The Ochsner Medical 3D (m3D) lab is developing and using advanced visualization, anatomical modeling, and simulation in medicine. The m3D lab leverages multiple platforms, like 3D printing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to facilitate patient education, enhance medical training and improve clinical care delivery. Operationalized out of innovation Ochsner (iO), the m3D lab is utilizing 21st century tools to deliver 21st century care.
Empowering our Patients through Technology: Jalanea Lowe's Story
Ochsner’s commitment to providing the best care possible includes using innovative technologies to educate and empower our patients. The Ochsner m3D lab can create custom 3D models to inform our patients about their unique conditions and help them feel more comfortable about their healthcare.
When Jalanea Lowe was 5 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening condition. The base of her skull was not properly connected to her spine, causing an instability that made it difficult for her to hold up her head. Also born with Down syndrome and receiving treatment for leukemia, Jalanea was in danger of becoming paralyzed or worse without rapid intervention. The delicate procedure would require removing a small piece of bone and using screws to stabilize the area and prevent damage to her spinal cord. In most hospitals, her surgical team would examine X-rays and use a generic model to discuss their plan.
Here at Ochsner, 3D printing technology enabled her team to print an exact replica of Jalanea’s spine and skull to better prepare her surgeons for the procedure and better explain the procedure to her family.
“Being able to actually see a replica of Jalanea’s spine and skull before operating gave me peace of mind that they were confident in their ability,” says Jalanea’s mom.
Dr. Korak Sarkar completed his undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University where he received degrees in neuroscience, mathematical science, and biomedical engineering. He attended medical school at University of California San Diego, and went on to complete his Neurology training at University of California Davis. He is a board-certified neurologist who completed sub-specialty training at Northwestern and Shirley Ability Institute (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) in Brain Injury Medicine. He has served as an Innovation Fellow at Northwestern’s Center for Device Development. He has been very active in research throughout his career and was awarded the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Founder's Award in Translational Research. He participates in the AAN's policy and advocacy efforts, and serves as a member of its Health Policy subcommittee. He is currently an attending physician in the Department of Neurology at Ochsner Health and a staff physician in the Department of PM&R in the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He serves as the Director of Ochsner’s Neurosciences Medical 3D ( m3D) Lab, which applies advanced manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality to healthcare delivery.
Colin Curtis is a biomedical engineer in Neurosurgery where he uses EEG and MRI data to localize and create 3D models of seizures in the brain. He is also part of Ochsner’s Neurosciences m3D lab, where he uses medical imaging to make 3D representations of patient-specific anatomy which can be viewed in virtual reality or 3D printed. These models are designed to augment healthcare providers’ understanding of their patients’ complex conditions. Colin holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and was previously a biomedical engineering technician with GE Healthcare.
Having a biomedical engineer on your care team can improve quality of care, increase providers’ confidence in complex cases, and give patients new tools to understand their condition. The goal of an engineer is to create and provide access to new technologies that increase innovation, especially with VR, AR, and 3D printing. An engineer can create printed customized tools for individualized care and 3D models of patient anatomy that can be displayed virtually or as a physical 3D print. These models can then be used both for patient education and for customizable and relatively inexpensive simulation solutions.
Ochsner is using exciting new technologies to make the results of complex tests like CT scans and MRIs easier to comprehend and more accessible to medical trainees, clinicians, and patients and their families. Advanced medical visualization techniques, like 3D printing, AR and VR, help our clinical teams deliver care for the most difficult cases.
With 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, the m3D lab can build accurate, individualized 3D models from medical imaging. VR allows clinicians to explore patient-specific anatomy in ways they never could before. For example, this technology helps cardiologists and surgeons explore the inside of newborns with rare heart defects and develop personalized interventions, neurologists and neurosurgeons can better localize seizures and liver surgeons are optimizing their approach to tumor surgery.
Perhaps most importantly, these tools are brought directly to the patient so that they can better understand their health and become a more informed partner in their healthcare decisions.
Ochsner Medical 3D Lab In the News
Dr. Korak Sarkar describes his experience at Ochsner Medical 3D Printing Lab.
Ochsner Medical 3D Lab Research
Learn More About 3D Printing
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By: Korak Sarkar, MD
Since the advent of 3D printing in the 1980’s, it has been used in a variety of industries including aerospace, automobile and defense. 3D printing is now being used in medicine for patient education, medical training and surgical planning.
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Dr. Korak Sarkar joins Hello Health on TV to share a fascinating overview of 3D printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality that are allowing Ochsner to deliver 21st century healthcare.
Ochsner Doctor's Note: Medical 3D Lab with Korak Sarkar, MD
In this video, Korak Sarkar, MD discusses the innovative visualization technologies the Ochsner m3d lab is using to improve patient care and education.