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Houston Methodist licenses multidimensional imaging platform

Houston, TX - 1/15/2014

Houston Methodist has entered an exclusive agreement with Houston-based Facts and Figures, LLC, to license its high-definition, multidimensional imaging technology known as Plato's CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment). The agreement allows Facts and Figures to develop and commercialize Plato's CAVE technologies internationally.

By combining CT, MRI and PET scans, surgeons use Plato's CAVE to better determine their surgical approach. They can view any aspect of a patient’s body in multiple dimensions, in still images or video. Plato’s CAVE creates 3D, 4D, 5D, or 6D images that allow surgeons to plan the safest, fastest route to a tumor or blood vessel; to measure blood flow through the heart; to ensure there are no unexpected developments during the operation; and to even interpret sounds in the patient’s body.

The personalized visualization platform incorporates state-of-the-art interface technologies, such as voice recognition, motion sensors, game controllers and multi-touch tables that look similar to a giant smartphone. By combining different scans, physicians can not only see through skin, muscle, bones and organs, but they can also take measurements that aid in the clinical data sets to help with diagnosis and surgical planning.

“This technology is also used to educate the patient,” said Brian Butler, M.D., chairman for the department of radiation oncology at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Not only does this personalized technology enhance the surgeon’s capabilities before and during surgery, but the patient’s access to these images vastly improves the understanding of the disease or condition.”

Numerous surgeons at Houston Methodist are already using the technology in the operating room to enhance their image-guided capabilities during procedures such as brain and ear, nose and throat surgeries.

“The evolution of this platform allows health care to become seamlessly portable, personalized and easily accessible to physicians and their patients,” said John Hoff, CEO of Facts and Figures.  

Butler was the first in the world to implement intensity modulated radiation therapy, now a standard option for thousands of patients undergoing cancer radiation treatment.

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