Digital discovery

Big heart data

Project: Big Heart Data

Partners: Science Gallery London, Wellcome Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Batchworks.



What would happen if science could predict your heart’s health from birth?

Speculative design as a tool to explore the impact of ongoing research in medical modelisation.

© Images Garth McKee

Big Heart Data is a speculative project exploring cardiac simulation technologies and the potential impact of 3D printing in customizable and personal healthcare. The project sets out to engage non-medical audiences with the latest research around cardiac modeling and surgical planning.


Big Heart Data asks, what would happen if science could predict your heart’s health from birth? What if you could foresee your own heart journey of growth? Would we make life choices according to our conditions and what nature has given us?

Everyone is an individual, and that applies to our internal anatomy too. Recent innovation in imaging and modeling technologies enables medical teams to ‘see’ their patients' unique and individual hearts. Taking this a step further, computer scientists are developing algorithms and computer models to predict the heart’s ‘journey of growth’ from birth to adulthood, allowing them to predict the impact of life conditions and premature birth.

The combination of geometrical and computational models of the heart with 3D printing has the potential to allow for bespoke surgical and interventional devices. Cellule also see this technology as providing a unique opportunity for patients to have greater involvement in pre-operative planning, and consequentially to facilitate greater personalization in healthcare.


With Big Heart Data, Cellule aim to shift perspectives towards the body, health, and to challenge the ideas of ‘normality’. Through interactive design and public and patient engagement, we want to invite people to participate in their own health care and understand their individuality, opening a discussion on what is possible and preferable for the future of health and surgery.

Commissioned by Science Gallery at King’s College London.

Supported by the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, in partnership with the Cardiac Modelling and Imaging Biomarkers Group.

With thanks: Jack Wild (programming), Batchworks (3d printing).