View your unborn baby in 3-D

accreditation
Foetus – iStock
Foetus – iStock

Expectant parents may soon be able to view a three-dimensional virtual reality version of the foetus, researchers say.

Detecting abnormalities

This is possible with new technology that combines MRI and ultrasound data into a 3-D that can be viewed with virtual reality devices.

In tests, Brazilian researchers found that virtual reality foetal 3-D models are similar to the appearance of the newborn after birth. The models recreate the entire internal structure of the foetus, which can help doctors detect abnormalities.

The research was to be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), in Chicago.

"The 3-D foetal models combined with virtual reality immersive technologies may improve our understanding of foetal anatomical characteristics and can be used for educational purposes and as a method for parents to visualise their unborn baby," said study co-author Dr Heron Werner Jr in a RSNA news release. He is from the Clinica de Diagnostico por Imagem in Rio de Janeiro.

Read: Entire genome of human foetus decoded

The technology can also help doctors and parents when faced with foetal abnormalities and treatment decisions, the researchers said.

Werner and his colleagues have used this approach on patients at a clinic in Rio de Janeiro, including cases where the foetus had evidence of an abnormality that required surgery after birth. The researchers said they hope to expand their use of the technology over the next year.

Read more:

Boosting foetal immunity

Size of foetus affects stillbirth risk

Possible vaccine to prevent premature birth

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
How do you feel about the impending replacement of the Eskom board?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Finally, time for Eskom's new dawn!
4% - 91 votes
It’ll be new faces, same problems
48% - 980 votes
Great - as long as they keep CEO André de Ruyter
48% - 987 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.01
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.33
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.28
+0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
+0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.5%
Gold
1,629.04
+0.4%
Silver
18.40
+0.2%
Palladium
2,076.27
+1.6%
Platinum
853.51
+0.1%
Brent Crude
84.06
-2.5%
Top 40
57,621
+0.6%
All Share
64,026
+0.6%
Resource 10
56,997
+1.4%
Industrial 25
79,272
-0.3%
Financial 15
14,209
+1.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE