Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been in developmental stages since the 1960s. In numerous ways, AR is a mixture of Virtual Reality imposed into real life. These virtual contents are characteristically in the form of digital imagery or sound, usually applied in 3D models or videos. AR works through the usage of a range of sensors such as a camera, computer components or a display device.
In the healthcare industry, the application of AR is paving the way for new opportunities and unbelievable possibilities. Innovations in AR can greatly enhance the doctors’ and surgeons’ capability to diagnose, treat and perform surgeries more precisely by giving patients access to real-time data and patient information. AR can also benefit healthcare education by allowing students and trainee physicians to better visualize health issues and scenarios that they will one day be treating. The advantage that AR can bring to the healthcare industry is revolutionary and we are just witnessing the beginning of what is to come from AR in the field of medicine.
Medical institutions are now beginning to implement AR into their curriculum in order to provide students with a valuable hands-on learning experience. Basically, the idea for using AR in the field of education is to simulate patient and surgical encounters for students. They can take the liberty of committing their mistakes on AR rather than in a dissection lab or worse, in a real-life procedure. This technology will facilitate students to use AR so they can accurately learn about diagnosing patients with health conditions or take part in an AR surgical procedure. AR technologies will also facilitate medical professionals to incessantly observe and give feedback to students during their practice.
Training can be made more organised by implementing AR into education. Through an AR training program, doctors under training will be able to practice on anything and everything that may come up in a real-life medical situation instead of randomly training with what’s given in a dissection lab. Medical students have always learned medicine based upon theory and proven evidence. Now with the help of AR technology they can visualize and practice those theories during their training itself. To be able to understand this further, we can take the example of AR apps that can be used to overlay anatomy data on a 3D human skeleton. It gives them a better understanding of how the human body works.
Augmented Practice Start-ups to Watch Out for
This offers ultramodern VR / AR training and education solutions to medical professionals, students in the healthcare industry. ImmersiveTouch puts together their innovative technologies with strong academic partnerships to endorse world-class medical education and patient safety. The comprehensive education solutions offered contain next generation surgical simulators and learning management systems. These are being used in leading medical centres around the world, including Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago and the University of Calgary.
This app makes it possible for users to practice surgery at any time and place. An interactive mobile surgical simulator is used that guides the healthcare professional at every step throughout the operation, and every decision that is made along the course. Using state-of-the-art technology, Touch Surgery creates precise and valued surgical content, disseminating the best practices and procedures that help in improving the quality of surgery worldwide.
AR also enables doctors to determine their patients’ symptoms in a better way and diagnose them accurately. Most often, patients struggle to exactly describe their symptoms to doctors, but with AR technology, patients can explain their symptoms in a better way.
Augmented Diagnosis Start-ups to Watch Out for
EyeDecide by Orca Health is a unique medical app, which simulates the impact of specific conditions on a person’s vision by using the camera display. EyeDecide helps doctors show a simulation of the vision of a patient who suffers from a specific condition.
AccuVein uses AR technology to make the lives of both nurses and patients easier. When nurses try to find the veins on the patient, 40% of intravenous injections miss the vein on the first stick and the figures are worse for children and the elderly. AccuVein uses AR to pinpoint the exact position of veins in the patient’s body by using a handheld scanner that projects over the skin.
SentiAR is a digital health software device company that is taking clinical practice in interventional procedures to a whole new level. Products of the Washington University, they are into developing the first 3D visualization platform by using the real-time holography of the patient’s anatomy and catheter location with an aim of providing clinicians and patients a quicker, safer delivery of care. SentiAR’s goal is to revolutionise the experience for both patient and clinician in interventional procedures.
Atheer is the innovator of AiR (Augmented interactive Reality) computing. AiR Smartglasses connects AR glasses to an android-based computer. AiR Smartglasses integrates hand-tracking and gesture control with see-through display. Users can see critical work information virtually in their field-of-view and interact with it using familiar gestures, voice commands and motion tracking. Going beyond data access and carrying life-saving information into the doctors’ field of vision, the capability to interact with that information via gestures, voice commands and motion tracking is a ground-breaking capability.
As a fitting conclusion, we can sum up that high-tech innovations have greatly improved the outcomes in the field of medicine and healthcare. But for all this to be realised and implemented into the daily routine of medicine, AR technology must evolve in an unprecedented way. AR Hardware needs to fit securely and firmly on the practitioner’s head. AR images must be projected clearly and accurately as possible. Doctors must realise the fact and possess the conviction that AR can bring massive improvements to their practice. In the coming years, we will surely begin to see the use of AR technology in healthcare during training of medical students, surgeries and regular doctor appointments.