Monday, 30 May 2022 11:07

Augmented reality technology views the irreversible impact of haemophilia


The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has unveiled the Augmented Reality Joint Scanner, an AR technology that informs patients the potentially irreversible impact of haemophilia.

The technology will be used by clinical staff at the Kids’ Factor Zone at Westmead Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Haematology Unit and will help educate young patients and their families on the possible future impact of joint disease and the importance of maintaining a regular treatment program to help prevent bleeding episodes.

The Scanner utilises a ‘leap motion’ 3D camera attached to a computer to scan and map a person’s hand when placed under the device.

A specially designed software then overlays imagery onto the user’s hand to replicate normal ageing and the impact of joint disease.

While the scanner uses only the user’s hand as its reference point, it allows the user to expand the replicated view on the screen beyond the hand to see what is happening elsewhere in the body, focusing on specific joints known to be impacted by haemophilia including the shoulder, knee, or ankle.

“Technological advances like Augmented Reality, seen in this Joint Scanner, allow healthcare professionals to bring important health education to life that directly engages their patients. We know improved health education can help patients make informed decisions about managing their health conditions”, comments Crash Bang Wallop joint scanner developer Murray White.

Tim Demos, 28, who lives with haemophilia A, said the scanner provides an insightful and startling lens into what life can look like if he doesn’t continue to pay attention to his haemophilia management.

“I’ve always felt I had a pretty good handle on managing my haemophilia, but even so, it’s easy to disregard the impact of my condition in the next ten years. This scanner has helped to strengthen my understanding that what I do now will determine how I live with my haemophilia for the rest of my life,” said Demos.

Sanofi has developed the Augmented Reality Joint Scanner.

Haemophilia, an incurable, inherited rare blood disorder, is estimated to impact more than 3,000 Australians. It is diagnosed when there is not enough clotting factor VIII or IX in the blood to help control bleeding in the body.

This bleeding most commonly occurs in the joints of the knees, elbows and ankles, and can lead to joint disease if not treated adequately.

As haemophilia is also an inherited condition diagnosed at birth, joint disease caused by haemophilia can begin to develop as early as the age of 20.

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