A game changer in CT Colonography

DI Europe | Alan Barclay

A pioneer in CT colonography, Prof Judy Yee, Chief of Radiology at the VA Healthcare System and Vice Chair of Radiology at UCSF in San Francisco, CA, USA, has many years of experience in the field. Three years ago, her department acquired an advanced medical visualization software solution, the True 3D system from Echopixel. We wanted to find out more about Prof Yee’s work in general and the new system in particular, so we caught up with her for a conversation. 

Virtual Radiology: New Viewing Platform Creates Interactive Medical Imaging Holograms

Radiology Today | Beth Orenstein

What if physicians could interact with medical images the same way they do with patients lying on the operating room (OR) table? Thanks to advances in imaging technology, physicians are able to piece together multiple 2D images from CT or MRI and imagine patients' anatomy in three dimensions. "But they're forced to make assumptions about what the patient's anatomy truly looks like," says Sergio Aguirre, MSc, chief technology officer and founder of EchoPixel of Mountain View, California. Aguirre's company has developed software that enables radiologists, interventional and pediatric cardiologists, and other surgical specialists to actually see their patients' anatomy in open 3D space.

3D Glasses Can Give Your Doctor a Complete View of Your Insides

Bloomberg Businessweek | Michelle Cortez

Form and function
EchoPixel’s software stitches together data from CT scans, MRI machines, and ultrasounds to generate 3D images that medical professionals and patients can examine and manipulate using 3D glasses and a stylus.

Innovator Sergio Aguirre
Age 40
Title Founder of EchoPixel, a four-year-old, 18-employee medical-imaging startup in Mountain View, Calif.

The system has a desktop PC equipped with EchoPixel software and cameras that track a user’s head movements. Wearing 3D glasses, viewers can see an exact replica of the subject’s anatomy and use an accompanying stylus to digitally manipulate parts of the body projected on the screen.

Aguirre, who has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Monterrey in Mexico, first tried to use 3D imaging for oil exploration but found more data available in radiology and other medical fields. He founded EchoPixel in 2012.

EchoPixel has about 20 paying subscribers, including Stanford and the Cleveland Clinic.

The company charges $25,000 a year for a subscription to its software, or $22,000 a year with a longer-term contract.

EchoPixel pitches its technology as a way to diagnose diseases, plan surgeries, and educate patients. For doctors, it can also take the guesswork out of converting 2D scans to 3D actions.

Next Steps
“This interactive virtual reality really facilitates understanding,” says Ken Merdan, a senior research and development fellow at medical-device maker Boston Scientific. “When you are looking at something complex—and anatomy is complex and hard to understand—it’s easier to grasp in a short time frame.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved EchoPixel’s system, and the company says it’s working on refinements that will eliminate the need for 3D glasses, letting people view its images on standard mobile devices.

EchoPixel Interactive Radiography Virtual Reality System for Advanced Surgical Planning

MedGadget | Gene Ostrovsky

The Radiological Society of North America is holding its annual meeting in Chicago this week and we stopped by for a quick visit to check out some interesting technology that’s being showcased. Being into nifty gadgetry, one company that caught our eye is EchoPixel. They are using virtual reality technology to help surgeons prepare for challenging operations. Their software runs on HP’s Zvr Interactive Virtual Reality Display that actually tracks the user’s face to create an impressive life-like volumetric visualization of radiographic data.

Silicon Valley hospitals become early adopters

Silicon Valley Business Journal | Luke Stangel

Mountain View’s El Camino Hospital is home to the Fogarty Institute of Innovation, a startup incubator of sorts that invites entrepreneurs to build new medical products on the hospital’s campus. A venture-funded startup called EchoPixel got early help from the institute, as it built software capable of turning MRI and CT scans into virtual, 3D models for doctors.


EchoPixel True 3D brings virtual reality to healthcare

HP Blog | Rhea Mathew

Tech-savvy consumers who have been following the developments of virtual reality technology are likely familiar with the immersive gaming experience using VR devices such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. These devices use headgear that has limited application when it comes to being used by clinicians.

But technology innovators, including HP and partner EchoPixel, see a broader future for VR applications, such as those that enhance healthcare.

True 3D, a powerful tool that has gained FDA approval for certain applications, is one that allows doctors to better analyze medical images, arrive at more accurate diagnoses and assist in the planning of complex surgical procedures.

EchoPixel True 3D Virtual Reality Solution, which is powered by HP, has been on the market since March 2015 but the FDA’s nod allows the system to now turn the corner on market acceleration by making the solution usable for diagnostic and planning purposes. 


EchoPixel Teams with HP to Release Clinical True 3D Viewer

MedGadget | Gene Ostrovsky 

Last year, EchoPixel, a Mountain View, California firm, received FDA clearance to introduce its True 3D Viewer, a platform for visualizing CT and MRI exams in 3D. The company has now announced that it is releasing the viewer that, thanks to a partnership with HP, now will run on the Zvr Interactive Virtual Reality Display.

Medical imaging startup teams with HP to roll out 3-D tech in clinic

Fierce Biotech | Emily Wasserman 

Startup EchoPixel is partnering with tech titan HP to roll out its virtual reality medical imaging system in clinics.

The Mountain View, CA-based company will run its medical imaging tool on HP’s Zvr Interactive Virtual Reality Display and workstation. EchoPixel’s True 3D system creates holographic images that can be viewed in real-time during surgery, a potential boon for doctors.

A partnership with HP is also a "formative moment" for EchoPixel, CEO Ron Schilling said in a statement, as the company looks to put its technology in the hands of more clinicians. 

EchoPixel prepares to ship VR tools on HP platform

Aunt Minnie | Eric Barnes

Advanced visualization firm EchoPixel made a major step toward broader clinical acceptance of its True 3D Viewer advanced visualization tools this week. The company is getting ready to begin shipping a version of the holographic technology based on virtual reality (VR) displays and workstations from computer giant HP.

The HP Zvr display and HP's Z440 workstation have been customized to work with EchoPixel's technology, EchoPixel said. As a result, the True 3D Viewer is now available with the HP Zvr interactive virtual reality display in a combined platform that's been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, EchoPixel said. The FDA required additional testing to sell the EchoPixel software as a bundle with HP's hardware, a process which is now complete. After finalizing internal protocols, the company said it will begin shipping by the end of July.

3-D Virtual Reality Colonoscopy: Pursuing a Better Path to Colorectal Cancer Prevention

UCSF News | Janet Wells

At UCSF’s 3-D Imaging Lab, radiologist Judy Yee, MD, pulls up an image that looks more like a birthday party balloon animal than a patient’s colon: a vibrant, color-segmented tube, torqued and twisted in on itself. 

Created from thin slices of a computed tomography (CT) scan, the image appears three-dimensional on the flat screen. It can even morph into video “fly-through” views, enhancing polyps, lesions, and other precancerous anomalies. Yee refined this revolutionary blend of advanced graphical software and scanning technology – known as CT colonography (CTC) or virtual colonoscopy – as a far less invasive and easier-to-interpret alternative to conventional colonoscopies.

A Possible Replacement For X-ray Angiography in the Cath Lab

DAIC | Dave Fornell

Taking the ultrasound concept a step further at ASE, GE Healthcare invited startup true 3-D visualization company Echopixel to demonstrate its technology at the GE booth. The companies actively gathered feedback from cardiologists as to its possible utility. Echopixel’s technology takes 3-D datasets from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and now 3-D ultrasound and presents it in true 3-D with the use of a special display screen and 3-D glasses. The operator can use an intuitive, special stylus to latch onto the 3-D view and rotate it on any axis, or slice through the anatomy for cross-sectional views on any axis. 

What do your insides look like in VR? EchoPixel offers a way to see them

Silicon Valley Business Journal | Cromwell Schubarth

EchoPixel has developed real-time interactive virtual reality technology that helps physicians work with 3-D images of patient-specific body parts instead of flat images. The company says this gives physicians a more complete understanding of a patient’s anatomy and can be used to teach surgical and radiological procedures in a step-by-step, annotated 3-D format. Specialists such as doctors and nurses can also use it to collaborate and share information on a lifelike image, while patients can use it to understand and manage their conditions.

Doctors can now get a 3-D holographic look at your insides

CNBC | Jeniece Pettitt 

Dr. Judy Yee has spent decades pouring over medical scans trying to make sense of 3-D problems on a flat screen. But now a breakthrough technology is making her job a lot easier.
She uses EchoPixel's True 3-D software. It takes data from CT and MRI scans and transforms it into 3-D holographic images so she can view and interact with patient tissues and organs as if they were real physical objects. Medical 3-D imaging is not new, but the way organs appear to pop out of the screen and the ease at which the anatomy can be manipulated has never been seen before in medicine.

"I have found it to be a completely novel way of looking at the CT data," said Dr. Yee, vice chair of radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco, in a phone interview. "It's been a long time since I've seen anything like this. It's a game changer."

EchoPixel’s breakthrough VR tech lets doctors look inside your body

TechCrunch | Sarah Buhr and Josh Constine 

Think of EchoPixel’s tech like InnerSpace but instead of actually minimizing scientists and shooting them into your body to find disease, the medical imaging startup lets doctors pinpoint problem areas from CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans using 3D glasses and a special display.

Most doctors view CT scans in 2D, meaning they can’t see in and around all the details of your body, so it’s harder to find the exact problem. Some even resort to bringing hand-drawn sketches into the operating room. EchoPixel CTO Sergio Aguirre says “It’s really a shame that doctors are still using the same 2D images designed in 1880.”

But with EchoPixel and 3D glasses, internal organs pop off the screen like holograms so doctors can virtually examine a patient from any angle. EchoPixel could radically improve healthcare while reducing time and costs for hospitals and patients. It’s one of the most promising ways virtual reality is making in-roads in healthcare.

See their video here

Virtual reality assists surgeons and radiologists

Canadian Healthcare Technology | Jerry Zeidenberg 

To the 3D printing that’s taking the medical world by storm, we can now add another innovative, three-dimensional technology – interactive virtual reality. Wearing special goggles and manipulating instruments, clinicians can examine diagnostic images that appear to float in space in front of them.

A leader in the field of 3D virtual reality is EchoPixel, Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley. EchoPixel’s True 3D technology is the first FDA approved virtual reality system for medical-image processing.

In addition to Stanford University, the Cleveland Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco, EchoPixel is now testing the technology in pilot projects with the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, and the Toronto General Hospital’s cardiac centre.

Interactive Virtual Reality Key to Interoperability

Ron Schilling, Diagnostic Imaging

Interoperability was a buzz word on steroids at HIMSS. It was found in big letters within many of the prominent booths all over the show.

Interoperability demands that communications regarding all aspects of patient care be connected, from entry into the system to discharge. This is required to realize the best results for increasing patient outcomes. However, this can't properly happen if departments, such as radiology and surgery, do not effectively talk with each other – something that often occurs due to the lack of a common visualization language

Virtual Reality Is Coming to Medical Imaging

Amy Westervelt, The Wall Street Journal

Most medical-imaging equipment on the market today can generate 3-D images. Yet surgeons often stick with what they were taught to do in medical school, which is view multiple two-dimensional snapshots of the body part on which they plan to operate and reconstruct a three-dimensional view of it in their heads. Many of them don’t think 3-D images offer enough increased benefit to merit that becoming the new standard, and the higher cost of 3-D imaging means hospitals have to demonstrate it actually improves patient care to get reimbursed.

That may be about to get easier. New virtual-reality technologies, which can pull in imagery and data from multiple sources, have the potential to more dramatically affect patient outcomes. In clinical trials, some virtual-reality simulations reduced surgical planning time by 40% and increased surgical accuracy by 10%.

HP Inc. Is Bringing Its Giant Virtual Reality Display Into Healthcare

Aaron Tilley , Forbes

HP hopes to bring the Zvr into the medical world in collaboration with medical software upstart EchoPixel. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup makes 3D medical visualization software that turns diagnostic scans into 3D models. Those 3D projections of, say, an organ, can then be studied in VR.

The hardware-software partnership is intended to be used to diagnose ailments or assist in planning operations. Typically, EchoPixel CEO Ron Schilling explained, a doctor sits in front of a computer looking at multiple medical imaging scans and tries to make sense of them in 2D. EchoPixel’s pitch is that turning these scans into 3D models will help doctors identify overlooked issues. For example, 3D scans could make it easier to identify a polyp, abnormal tissue growth, in an organ.

EchoPixel Partners With HP to Bring Virtual Reality to Healthcare

EchoPixel announced today that it is collaborating with HP to deliver a revolutionary new virtual reality technology called True 3D to the healthcare system. The joint hardware and software system provides users with a remarkable new way to examine and dissect educational images of patient-specific anatomy. This collaboration will provide medical facilities around the country, and the world, with the power of truly 3D visualization.

EchoPixel's True 3D is a real-time, interactive virtual reality system that leverages existing data. It lets users view and interact with images of patient tissue and organs as if they were real physical objects, in a way that is not possible with current imaging technology. The system is designed to address a pain point in imaging workflows: the cognitive challenge of interpreting three-dimensional patient anatomy from two-dimensional images displayed on a flat surface. With the True 3D system, patient anatomy is presented as a fully volumetric, interactive image in open 3D space. Unlike some kinds of virtual reality, it is non-isolating and does not require an immersive headset.