Company NewsSeptember 29, 2019

World Heart Day Spotlight: The Living Heart Project Transforming Healthcare

Did you know that approximately every 40 seconds in the United States…
Avatar Meaghan Murphy

Did you know that approximately every 40 seconds in the United States a person has a heart attack?  Today is World Heart Day, with a focus on building awareness of cardiovascular disease and “a mission to ensure heart health equity for all.” According to the American College of Cardiology, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 840,768 deaths in 2016.

At Dassault Systèmes, we uncover new ways to apply our technologies to big questions. In recognition of World Heart Day we are sharing The Living Heart Project, a game changing approach to digital healthcare, specifically focused on cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment.

Engineer Develops Virtual Reality Heart

The Living Heart Project was launched in 2014 by Steven Levine, Ph.D. Senior Director of Virtual Human Modeling for Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA brand, from a very personal experience. Levine’s daughter was diagnosed with heart disease at a young age, and at that time doctors anticipated that her life would be cut short from the condition. As an engineer working with virtual simulation technology Levine believed that the heart could be better understood through a different set of tools then the traditional diagnostic methods available at the time. With the support of Dassault Systèmes and his background in virtual modeling and simulation, Levine set out to create a realistic 3D model of a human heart that doctors could explore using the power of virtual reality. Today, The Living Heart Project is transforming healthcare  by allowing researchers, surgeons, students, medical device and medical treatment developers to analyze, test and explore the heart in its finest detail before, during and after they treat the real thing.

How Does It Work

The Living Heart Project allows practitioners to visualize what they cannot see through precise 3D modeling and simulation of an actual heart. The SIMULIA Living Heart Human Model is a high-fidelity multiphysics model of a healthy, 4-chamber adult human heart. This virtual version of a human heart is governed by realistic electrical, structural, and fluid flow physics. The incredibly detailed model includes electro-mechanical simulation, a blood flow model, and a complete characterization of cardiac tissues.

Expanding The Possibilities Of Cardiovascular Research

The Living Heart Project enables cardiovascular researchers to have an expanded 3D simulation view of the heart. The simulation can be used for education and training, medical device design, medication testing and clinical diagnosis. The Living Heart simulation expands the likelihood of success by accelerating the testing process and bringing both researchers and clinician’s vast knowledge together on the collaborative, cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

If clinicians and surgeons have access to a realistic model of a patient’s heart this could greatly improve the level of personalized care they can offer patients. The Living Heart Model can demonstrate the progression of heart disease over time and visualize the potential outcomes of different treatment options. Overall advances in technology move us forward in better understanding the ways we can improve cardiovascular care for all.

Stay up to date

Receive monthly updates on content you won’t want to miss


Register here to receive a monthly update on our newest content.