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Plato's Cave

HOUSTON - Dr. Brian Butler, radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, conceived a program to create a virtual patient.

Butler created "Plato's CAVE", which stands for Computer Augmented Virtual Environment, to allow doctors to use 3, 4 and 5-D images to see exactly what they'll encounter in the operating room.

Only a small percentage of information is used or viewed from traditional CT, MRI, or PET scans.

"Well, now you can accumulate 90% of the data and have a much clearer and a much more focused picture," says Butler.

The surgeon can use voice commands and hand gestures in the operating room to manipulate the images.

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