It takes a Virtual Patient to Make a Healthy Village

So now there’s a new, safer way to test  medical procedures by creating “virtual patients”, computerized realistic-looking models that are “serviced” by  medical devices and procedures that can’t be tested in “vulnerable” patients, such as pregnant women. Dr. X. George Xu, the lead team member of nuclear engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., is using this technology to study how exposure to radiation, such as that of a CT scan, interacts with the human body and raises the  risks of cell damage, cancer and other health problems. Also being tested is how body fat afects the dose of radiation needed to be effective. The team hopes that the calculations from these virtual patients will help guide doctors in targeting tumors and making clinical decisions, such as anticipating  the benefits of  an expectant mom’s  getting a CT scan outweighing  the risks to the fetus.  According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Virtual patients could allow medical-device companies to test new products earlier, helping the devices get to market more quickly and cheaply”.
..Now that’s a Virtual Reality with serious health benefits

26. December 2011 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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