High-tech torso helps with heart training - FOX 13 News

High-tech torso helps with heart training

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A Bay Area sonography training program is giving us a look at a new high-tech teaching tool, helping bridge a gap experienced by many medical students studying the heart.

When diagnosing heart conditions, doctors only get a flat view using ultrasounds called echo-cardiograms. These two-dimensional heart scans are tough to decipher, especially for untrained eyes.

"I'm looking with this transducer on a person's body but I'm not really sure what I'm seeing on the screen there," said Sam Yoders, director of Nova Southeastern University's Cardiovascular Sonography Program. "There's sometimes a real mental gap."

NSU Instructors are hoping to reduce that learning roadblock by using a virtual 3D simulator. They call him Norman, and his high-tech torso helps doctors and techs in training.

"It's basically merging them together to get one human heart," Yoders explained.

The simulator allows students to get a close up look at common problems like mitral valve prolapse. Details are based on CT, MRI, and echo scans from 10,000 patients.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.nova.edu/chcs/healthsciences/cardiovascular/index.html

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