Duke app takes 3D TEE to the iPad

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A Duke University research team has developed a 3D tool that provides instruction in obtaining and interpreting transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) images on the iPad.

Brandi Bottiger, MD, of the cardiothoracic anesthesia division at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., presented the project Oct. 14 at Anesthesiology 2012, according to a press release issued by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Although 3D TEE improves anatomic imaging of the heart and great vessels, acquiring and interpreting 3D echocardiography images continues to be conceptually challenging for trainees, according to Bottiger.

After acquiring standard video using an esophageal ultrasound probe, the researchers downloaded 3D clips to the cardiology image management system to create a 3D library. Next, they used iMovie to annotate the 3D loop with instructional information on how to acquire and optimize the images. Trainees can the view the instructional library of 14 videos on an iPad in the operating room.

The Duke team has validated the platform in the OR and plans to develop another 10 videos. They also plan to evaluate the project by comparing the iPad approach with routine 3D didactic instruction.

To date, the videos have been used only for anesthesiology trainees and residents at Duke and have been developed specifically for the iPad only.

“For the greatest effect, this product should be available on multiple handheld devices,” said Bottiger.