the george washington hospital in washing D.C. is using innovative virtual reality technology to assess its first COVID-19 patient. co-developed by GWU thoracic surgical chief keith mortman and surgical theater — a well-known developer of VR imagining software — the video takes us inside a coronavirus-damaged lung.

virtual reality (VR) technology in the fight against COVID-19 at george washington university hospital



the GW hospital is using virtual reality (VR) technology in the fight against COVID-19 as this technology enables the medical team to see into the patient’s lungs. this video in particular shows the lungs of an infected man in his late 50s who was transferred from another hospital after his initial symptoms escalated. in the video, the lungs are shown in translucent blue, with infected areas in yellow. the visualization highlights how the body reacts to COVID-19 by creating inflammation zones.



‘what we’re seeing is that there was rapid and progressive damage to the lungs so that he needed higher levels of support from that ventilator and it got to the point where he needed maximal support from the ventilator,’ said sr. keith mortman in an interview for the hospital’s podcast, HealthCast. ‘that was when the outside hospital reached out to our expert team here at GW and the patient was transferred to us for something called ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.’


‘there is such a stark contrast between the virus-infected abnormal lung and the more healthy, adjacent lung tissue,’ he continues. ‘and it’s such a contrast that you do not need an MD after your name to understand these images. this is something the general public can take a look at and really start to comprehend how severe the amount of damage this is causing the lung tissue. the damage we’re seeing is not isolated to any one part of the lung. this is severe damage to both lungs diffusely.’