Dr Altair Costa reveal the aggressive spread hidden in Covid-19 infected lungs

When Covid-19 hit the world, Interspectral begun searching for experts in the field with the objective of compiling educational and informative material for its global customers. The purpose was to teach and engage users by combining real captured data with validated facts from research and specialists.

CT scans from four different stages showing the aggressive spread of covid-19 inside the lungs of a patient

Great effort was put into creating a validated and fact-based exhibition including data and information from multiple resources. All thoroughly reviewed by experts. A critical step to this development, was to find CT-scans of an infected patient to display how the Covid-19 infection affects the human lungs and respiratory system. Allowing us to visually display the aggressive spread of the infection in different stages.

During our search for the CT-scans, we came across Dr. Costa and Norman Gellada and immediately started collaborating to produce the 3D visualization to showcase four different stages of the disease based on Dr. Costas CT’s with visualization support from Norman Gellada.

Dr Altair Costa is a thoracic surgeon at the Federal University Hospital in Sâo Paolo, Brazil. He graduated his medical studies in 1991, finished his specialization ten years later and has been a surgeon for the past 19 years.

“I’m also a teacher and researcher within respiratory diseases”, Dr. Costa tells.

He tells that the Covid situation in Brazil is still scary even if it has cooled off a bit. “I have never experienced anything like Covid-19 before! I was practicing medicine during the HIV-virus and the H1N1 pandemic, but they were nothing like the Covid-19,” Dr. Costa says. “Even though the worst period seems to be over for now, the precautions must prevail for more than one year and social distance, masks and personal hygiene will be important to maintain for a very long time ahead.”

Dr. Costa uses 3D technology to easier see, understand and explain diseases. It also makes it a lot easier to plan surgeries.

“I love 3D technology,” he says and continues with a comparison. “I like to compare computerized games to medical images. By 1980 the Batman was 32 bits, quite a funny design with square pixels. The same was a tomography – gray images with poor resolution. But look at Batman now, in 2020: a 4K image, colored, perfect shadows and perspectives. However, the CT is still the same gray image, with much better resolution of course, but nothing compared to Batman. We need to change it, urgently”.

Why did you choose to collaborate with Interspectral in our Corona exhibition?

“One aspect that differ us humans from other species is our capacity to collaborate with people we do not know, never have meet and still do a great job. When Interspectral and Norman contacted me about this project, it was clear to me that I had to get in. And as Interspectral showed me their software (Inside Explorer), I realized how amazing it was. Awesome! It would be too selfish to keep this kind of information just for us. It deserves to be spread.”

Dr. Altair Costa’s CT scans from 12 May 2020 showing the aggressive spread of COVID-19 infection, visualized and displayed in Inside Explorer

The public will not learn much by just looking at conventional CT-scans and he discloses that even some physicians have difficulties to understand the CT images. But with 3D technology it is easy to see and realize what a disease can do to your body. The damages become clear, touchable and sometimes frightening. People can more easily understand what smoking, sedentarism and vicious behavior will cause their bodies.

“It is a completely different world”

As a specialist and surgeon, Dr. Costa is prepared to both treat and face complex pathologies while making safe and fast decisions.

“For some patients, there is normally time to think decisions through and sometimes postpone decisions for a week or so in conversation with the patient. With other patients, we must make the best decisions we can based on the available information. But with Covid-19, it was all different! Not only because of the new kind of virus but also because of the panic in the air”, Dr Costa says. “Our first reaction was to isolate everybody at the same time. It was a mistake.”

He also adds that with time, experience, serenity, and science, they were able to manage each patient better and better as they learned. “We must believe in science! And with trustable information we will carry on with our lives and be safe,” Dr Costa says. “It is more than possible, it is a necessity.”

Do you believe patients infected by COVID-19 will fully recover or will there be after effects that demand future hospital care?

“That is one of the important questions we face right now. The answer is we do not know YET. In about 6 months when the firsts patients have fully recovered, they will be studied, and we might know. My impression, however, is that they will not suffer significant limitations. Hopefully their lives can go on as before.”

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