Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Plato's CAVE

Plato's CAVE

Contact Us

Plato's CAVE™
1130 Earle Street, AX121-B
Houston, Texas 77030
Office: 713-394-1107
Fax: 713-793-1300

Email: platoscave@houstonmethodist.org

Developed by: E. Brian Butler, M.D.
Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, Houston Methodist Hospital

Plato’s CAVE™ is an innovative new visualization center at Houston Methodist Hospital. In the center, physicians are able to view 3-D images of a patient’s internal structures on a multi-touch table. CAVE stands for Computer Augmented Virtual Environment. Much like graphics on a video game, the CAVE creates patient-specific 3-D anatomical features allowing Houston Methodist physicians to virtually “fly” through the skin, muscle, bones and organs. Plato’s CAVETM uses state-of-the-art interface technologies, such as voice recognition, motion sensors, multi-touch tables, stereoscopic visualization and game controllers.

Technological Capabilities
3-D visualization such as that used in Plato’s CAVETM provides a more accurate, interactive understanding of tumor location and local involvement. The CAVE creates a colored 3-D volumetric rendering of the patient using a combination of existing imaging data from:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tests (PET)

Plato's Cave - 2D vs 3D imaging3-D visualization provides a more accurate, interactive understanding of tumor location and local involvement, for example.

Watch videos showcasing Plato’s CAVE in use in providing advanced patient care.

Volume Evaluation

Plato’s CAVETM assists physicians in evaluating the volume of the disease process and allows them to perform simulated surgery. This helps physicians determine the optimal treatment approach for the patient.
Surgeons can use “flythrough” movies of a patient’s body to prepare for and to perform surgical procedures. Flythrough movies can also detect vessel patency (openness) and compression of significant blood vessels.

Benefits of Plato’s CAVETM

Improved Quality of Care
Houston Methodist Hospital’s vision of the CAVE is to establish this innovative technology as the standard of care in medical imaging. Physicians can use this technology to:

  • increase accuracy of tumor size and location
  • decrease complications during treatment
  • avoid unnecessary surgery and decrease the length of hospital stay
  • pre-plan, perform and analyze outcomes before, during and post surgery

Electronic Medical Records Compatibility
The CAVE is compatible with the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) and provides personal, portable 3-D imaging records.
Advanced Education

The CAVE’s advanced visualization capabilities will help patients and their families more fully understand their personal disease. In addition, it will supplement traditional texts with a more visual approach for training residents, medical students and physicians.


News & Events

Houston Methodist licenses multidimensional imaging platform

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.

New technology offers virtual visualization of the human body

New 3-D technology gives physicians at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston the ability to view the inside of the human body at an unprecedented level of complexity.

Stunning 3-D views of the human body are projected onto a screen, giving physician’s stereoscopic visualization of the anatomy. Specialized glasses are worn to view the 3-D hologram of these images. Read full news story