Houston Methodist Hospital

Houston, TX

Plato's CAVE

  • Gain the clearest image of a patient before treatment or surgery begin

Houston Methodist Hospital


Every day, healthcare practitioners and researchers must determine a patient’s best care, often without being able to truly see an internal problem. Whether a patient’s care is in the form of surgery, treatment, or testing, physicians at Houston Methodist Hospital implement the safest and best care for each individual patient, despite challenges made by limited views of the human body. MRI, CT, and PET scans help verify a physician’s best course of action, but don’t provide a complete picture. Houston Methodist Hospital wanted to gain the clearest image of an individual patient before treatment or surgery even began, and Mechdyne was up to the challenge.


Mechdyne and Houston Methodist Hospital partnered together to create a customized clinical situation room the hospital calls Plato’s Cave, referencing Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” theme of understanding a total and complete reality. This visualization lab allows physicians and researchers to view inside a patient with realistic depth perception by combining data from CT, MRI, and PET scans to generate one clear, comprehensive image. Surgeons and doctors easily navigate around organs, arteries, and bone to see or understand a patient’s problem, such as tumors. The lab also allows doctors to practice and rehearse procedures in order to decrease complications, avoid unnecessary surgery, and analyze outcomes before treating a patient.