The Cardiovascular Surgery Advanced Projects Laboratory (APL) at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a world leader in the pioneering use of cutting-edge technology to support the delivery and transformation of healthcare. The program is one of the first in the U.S. to combine the use of holomedicine 3D visualization and advanced 3D printing of operable and dissectible models to support clinicians at Nicklaus Children's in planning complex operations, optimizing patient outcomes, and advancing medical education.
Next Generation Innovation
The Cardiovascular Surgery Advanced Projects Laboratory was among the first in the nation to use 3D printing technology in healthcare. The Heart Institute routinely uses scale models of patient hearts for surgical planning and patient education. To date, over five hundred models have been printed of hearts, brains, spines, extremities and other organs.
With the advent of augmented reality medical platforms, the laboratory has expanded its technology focus to include 3D holograms to support cardiovascular surgical planning.
The 3D printing and hologram technology relies on Nicklaus Children's advanced medical imaging capability, including MRI, CT, Angio CT, PET and SPECT-TC technology to create individual 3D patient models and images.
Enhancing the Patient Experience
The Advanced Projects Laboratory helps patients and families better visualize how surgical repairs will be accomplished. Families can hold and keep the printed patient hearts and learn from clinicians exactly how the surgery will be accomplished. It is invaluable as children transition to adulthood for them to understand their heart disease. It leads to enhanced patient and family satisfaction.
Opportunities in Medical Education
The Advanced Projects Laboratory is also exploring opportunities to use its advanced technology to support medical education. The 3D and Holomedicine technology provide opportunities for medical students to view specific patient anatomy in new immersive ways that enhance learning and understanding.