Facial reconstruction using AI

Facial reconstruction using AI

Facial reconstruction using AI

Introduction

The number of people requiring facial reconstruction is increasing year upon year. At present, this reconstruction is at the mercy of the imagination and experience of the surgeon, with no clear way of visually communicating each stage of the process or the end result to the patient in advance. For patients with facial cancer, trauma or congenital abnormalities, this can be very distressing.

2021 Award

Allan Ponniah (CF 2015) is a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in London, where they are seeing more advanced facial skin cancer patients due to treatment delays during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has been awarded one of our Activate grants to establish and deliver a pilot programme to revolutionise facial reconstruction using artificial intelligence, so that patients can be more informed at each stage of the process. He will use his funding to work with the Royal Free Hospital, Imperial College London and software consultants to develop a peer-reviewed ‘gold standard’ database of facial images, in order to create a set of 3D morphable model templates across different ages, ethnicities and genders. Using 3D scanning, these models will be modified to suit each patient, and a custom-made surgical plan for each stage of the reconstruction will be developed. At each stage, these models will be easily accessible, allowing the patient to see the plans and allowing them to integrate their own preferences into the reconstructive process and end result. Allan aims to publish the findings of this pilot programme in peer-reviewed journals and the national press, and ultimately hopes to train other surgeons around the UK to use the new technology so that more patients can benefit.

Allan’s Fellowship to France, Japan and the Netherlands investigated outcomes of surgery in patients with facial deformity.

2021 Award

Allan Ponniah (CF 2015) is a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in London, where they are seeing more advanced facial skin cancer patients due to treatment delays during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has been awarded one of our Activate grants to establish and deliver a pilot programme to revolutionise facial reconstruction using artificial intelligence, so that patients can be more informed at each stage of the process. He will use his funding to work with the Royal Free Hospital, Imperial College London and software consultants to develop a peer-reviewed ‘gold standard’ database of facial images, in order to create a set of 3D morphable model templates across different ages, ethnicities and genders. Using 3D scanning, these models will be modified to suit each patient, and a custom-made surgical plan for each stage of the reconstruction will be developed. At each stage, these models will be easily accessible, allowing the patient to see the plans and allowing them to integrate their own preferences into the reconstructive process and end result. Allan aims to publish the findings of this pilot programme in peer-reviewed journals and the national press, and ultimately hopes to train other surgeons around the UK to use the new technology so that more patients can benefit.

Allan’s Fellowship to France, Japan and the Netherlands investigated outcomes of surgery in patients with facial deformity.