Hospital uses VR to show how the coronavirus impacts the lungs

Researchers created a model that depicts the damage COVID-19 does to human lungs.

George Washington University Hospital

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Earlier this month, doctors at George Washington University Hospital encountered their first patient with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. Now they’re using VR technology to see into the patient’s lungs, the hospital demonstrated in a video posted to YouTube last week. 

In the simulation, you can see healthy lung tissue in blue, and the virus-infected lung tissue in yellow.

“There is such a stark contrast between the virus-infected abnormal lung and the more healthy, adjacent lung tissue,” Dr. Keith Mortman, chief of thoracic surgery at GW Hospital, said in an interview for the hospital’s podcast, HealthCast. “And it’s such a contrast that you do not need an MD after your name to understand these images … the damage we’re seeing is not isolated to any one part of the lung. This is severe damage to both lungs diffusely.”

Mortman said he was particularly concerned about the possibility of long-term lung damage to those who survive COVID-19.

Check out the video below. And for more on the coronavirus pandemic, take a look at COVID-19: Everything you need to know to stay healthy and entertained while stuck at home.

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