Parents can meet unborn children in 3D virtual reality

The Telegraph 21 November 2016
Family First Comment: Just a ‘blob of tissue’? Yeah right!

Seeing a baby in the womb for the first time on an ultrasound is a magical moment for most parents.

But a groundbreaking new scanning technology is allowing mothers and fathers to meet their unborn children in three dimensional virtual reality for the very first time.

The technique works by merging ultrasound imagery with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which scans segments of the womb and foetus to build a 3D model which can be brought to life by using a virtual reality headset.

Not only does it give the best ever view of a baby in the womb, but it can also help doctors pick up problems early, because it maps the entire internal structure of the foetus – not just the outside – meaning specialists can see how vital organs are developing.

British experts said it could also help parents bond with their children earlier. It is even possible to 3D print a model of the baby.

“We believe that these images will bring a new experience for parents when following the development of their unborn child,” said study co-author Dr Heron Werner Jr. from the Clínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The 3D foetal models combined with virtual reality immersive technologies may improve our understanding of anatomical characteristics and can be used for educational purposes and as a method for parents to visualize their unborn baby.”


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