Scientists and medical professionals will soon be able to get their hands on a scientifically accurate 3D model of a human heart to carry out virtual testing, thanks to Dassault Systèmes’ Living Heart Project.
The 3D simulated heart will available to buy from 29 May. It is powered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and is being targeted at device manufacturers, researchers and medical professionals to perform virtual tests and visualise the heart’s response in ways that are not possible with traditional physical testing.
Representing a baseline healthy heart, the model can be used to study congenital defects or heart disease by modifying the shape and tissue properties in a software editor. In addition, medical devices can be inserted into the simulator to study their influence on cardiac function, validate their efficacy and predict reliability under a range of operating conditions. For example, coronary stents can be evaluated for optimal type, size and placement location to achieve the best performance.
“I had been aware of advances in simulation technology, but prior to the ‘Living Heart Project’ I was unaware that it could address the types of challenges I have as a practising cardiologist and medical educator,” said Robert Schwengel, MD, FACC and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University. “Having spent time with their 3D experiences, I believe a product like this could be very powerful in helping to educate my patients, students of medicine and current medical professionals, as well as lead to improved diagnostic capabilities and the personalisation of medical therapeutics.”
The Living Heart Project started last year and crowd sources from its 45 current members to build its models. Members include regulatory science organisations such as the Food and Drug Administration, and the Medical Device Innovation Consortium, as well as technology providers, cardiologists, medical device manufacturers and hospitals such as St. Jude Medical and Mayo Clinic.
This crowdsourcing approach has enabled the heart model to be independently tested and helped Dassault Systèmes deliver the first iteration of the project’s commercial product on an accelerated schedule.
“The availability of the first commercial, physics-based simulated heart marks a significant milestone for digital medical tools that will advance cardiovascular science and directly impact the quality of life of patients,” said Scott Berkey, CEO of SIMULIA at Dassault Systèmes. “The ‘Living Heart Project’ is proof that our technology can potentially change the course of therapies through simulation of the human body.”
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