Six-month-old Archie was born with a condition in which the growth lines in his skull had merged too early.

Her parents have to make a difficult decision – choose the risk of surgery, or let nature take the path with the physical and psychological consequences that may occur.

But thanks to pioneering new technology, Amanda and Judd Michnowiec were able to see the changes that would take place before, in virtual reality.

VR Solutions

Archie’s condition – known as Sagittal Synostosis which means when his brain grows, the skull can’t grow sideways to accommodate it. Instead, it expands forward and backward, distorting the shape of the head.

Although this condition is not life-threatening, it can cause speech and language delays, as well as increase intracranial pressure.

Amanda and Judd didn’t hesitate when Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children offered them the opportunity to be the first to use a new artificial intelligence (AI) platform that predicts the outcome of life-changing operations in virtual reality.

At their first consultation, the immersive environment allowed them to see, from all angles, the reconstruction of Archie’s head produced from the CT scan.

The algorithm needed to create this final image has been made possible by leveraging data from 60 operations over the past seven years.

“We’re excited, and there’s definitely always been a concern with what he’s going to do,” Amanda said after the consultation.

But the technology not only allows the couple to see and understand the difference the procedure will make – they are also encouraged to suggest potential modifications to the surgeon.

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