Big Heart Data

Each human heart has a unique anatomy, which is affected by factors such as age, environment, genetics and disease. What if you could observe your own heart and identify your personalised pathway that maximises your health and quality of life?

‘Big Heart Data’ is a speculative project exploring cardiac simulation technologies and its potential impact in a patient-centred healthcare system. The main concept is a digital system for creating personalised digital and 3D-printed models of hearts, enabling clinicians and patients to understand the variability of heart anatomies and anticipate future heart health.

Recent innovations in imaging and modelling technologies are enabling to ‘see’ and hold a model of a patient’s unique heart. Computers are learning to predict the heart’s ‘journey of growth’ from birth to adulthood, allowing to predict the impact of lifestyle choices, environmental conditions and premature birth. It’s the vision of our “virtual twin” that develops with us, and informs of our best chances to maximise our longevity and quality of life.

The project is envisioning patients accessing their medical data and building accurate 3D models of their own heart. This personal cardiac dashboard can be used to anticipate future heart health, and to plan both lifestyle choices and preventive interventions. This empowers patients to understand their condition and to participate in their own health care with the clinician, taking an informed leading role in this process.

‘Big Heart Data’ was showcasing at the Science Gallery London an installation of 50 printed models from a mix of patient scans and models, with a digital interface anatomical variations and the potential journey of growth from birth to adulthood. Reflecting on technological advancements in diagnosis, this collaboration between design and medical innovation paves the way on what is a possible and preferable future, looking at the issue from a human perspective. The exhibit has also travelled to the London Tech Week and the New Scientist Life.