4 Surprising Trends Defining Augmented Reality In Healthcare

AR is unquestionably one of the innovative technologies that are transforming science fiction into reality. It introduces a uniquely immersive experience that goes beyond mere entertainment. Today, augmented reality is a powerful business tool that is being utilized to solve numerous business difficulties in a variety of industries, including retail, commerce, gaming, healthcare, and even the military. It is critical to keep track of these technologies in order to predict where the industry is headed.

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What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is the real-time integration of digital information with the user's environment. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which generates a completely created environment, users of augmented reality (AR) encounter a real-world environment with generated perceptual information superimposed on top of it. Augmented reality is used to either aesthetically alter natural environments or give users supplementary information. The fundamental advantage of AR is that it blends digital and three-dimensional (3D) components with a person's view of the real environment. AR has a wide range of applications, from decision-making to entertainment.

AR In Healthcare: The Future Is Now!

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Source: analyticssteps

AR use cases in healthcare can be traced back to 1992, when the US Air Force began creating and employing these systems in their laboratories to improve human performance during medical operations and surgery. Gradually, the business sector stepped in and began inventing creative AR-based solutions that aided the medical industry in various ways. Leading technology companies such as Siemens, Microsoft, Karl Storz, and others contributed to the simplification of many complex medical procedures by developing cutting-edge AR systems.

As technology advances, augmented reality has the potential to significantly alter medicine. It can be used in various settings, including primary care clinics, surgical rooms, emergency rooms, and dental offices. For example, doctors might use it to plan plastic surgery and other difficult operations. In fact, Neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reported performing the first augmented reality surgery in June 2020. A doctor used it to assist put six screws during a spinal operation to relieve severe back pain. Soon after, they utilized it to remove a spine tumor from someone else.

Furthermore, while many applications in medicine are not yet ready, augmented reality is already being used in training for doctors and nurses. For example, Students and instructors at NYU Langone employ augmented reality techniques to access learning materials and learn human anatomy. They can, for example, rotate a comprehensive 3D model of the heart on a computer or phone. Although augmented reality is still in its early stages, when done effectively, it is very rewarding.

4 Surprising Trends Defining Augmented Reality In Healthcare Today

Augmented Reality (AR) has made significant advances in the medical device business and has shown to be a critical piece of the puzzle in healthcare. The following is an overview of augmented reality (AR) and its use cases to help you grasp the possibilities of this technology that facilitates parts of the healthcare business, such as sales and marketing, learning, operations, and practice.

1. Lab Technology, Biotechnology & Life Sciences

Researchers, scientists, and technicians can benefit from AR experiences provided by lab technology, biotechnology, and life sciences organizations. It will allow them to investigate product functionality, technology, and benefits. It will also aid in improving user engagement and knowledge retention.

A life sciences firm that creates solutions unveiled a new product that uses cutting-edge technologies. It enabled geographic profiling of gene expression data using AR. They wanted to build an engaging experience that would allow users to fully examine the product. AR enables people to interact with the product in a virtual lab to learn about the technology and its game-changing benefits.

2. AR In Surgery

June 2020 was a watershed moment in medical research. For the first time in medical history, John Hopkins physicians performed AR-based operations on living patients. One of the surgeries was for spinal fusion, while the other was to remove a malignant growth called a chordoma from the spine. The operations were a complete success. And the patients are doing well as well.

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Source: John Hopkins Medicine

The augmented reality system includes a headset with a display through which the doctors could observe the person. It allowed them to project images from X-rays or CT scans onto the body, allowing them to observe both at the same time. It's as if surgeons have X-ray vision as long as those images are perfectly aligned.

According to Timothy Witham, MD, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who conducted the procedures, the device functions similarly to GPS, guiding the way in the operating room.

AR operations offer surgeons and medical practitioners with x-ray vision to detect organs on a patient's body, eliminating the need for doctors to glance at multiple monitors while performing surgery, saving time and allowing them to focus on the patient.

3. AR In Medical Practices

AR applications have made it easier for medical practitioners to embrace medical gadgets, which has streamlined medical processes. One of the applications is AccuVein, which helps doctors and nurses to assess veins more properly before injecting patients. It ensures pain reduction and patient satisfaction while requiring fewer escalations.

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Dorothy is another application that has aided patients all around the world. It is the first AR-powered aide for persons with memory loss or issues. The application uses AR technology to remind users of their daily tasks and leads them around the house.

4. AR In Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications and information technology tools to deliver medical services on time. Telemedicine offers more accurate and timely medical judgments. Nomadeec, a telemedicine-focused medical device manufacturing firm, demonstrated how they use Microsoft HoloLens to treat patients immediately.

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Source: Xmeet

The Telemedicine program enables practitioners to do operations such as patient evaluation, vitals checks using a complete AR-based model, essential testing, and videoconferencing with specialists via teleconsultation. Telemedicine can be a game changer in emergency medical solutions since the software allows practitioners to make split-second decisions that can save a patient's life.

What Impact Has Augmented Reality Had On The Healthcare Industry?

If the world had known a few years ago that medical institutions would be adopting immersive technology like AR and VR to solve healthcare concerns, most people would have dismissed it as a myth. It's fascinating to watch how technological innovation has shaped the modern healthcare industry.

Consider general surgery; 20 years ago, doctors and medical practitioners did not have the resources to practice surgery. They had to rely on their knowledge and skills in Human Anatomy to carry out the surgery. Doctors are now employing immersive technologies such as AR and VR to practice surgery before doing it on a patient.

AR has given the healthcare business the following benefits:

1. Efficiency - By enhancing real-world information and making it available when needed, AR can optimize operations time. This enables healthcare practitioners to concentrate on their key objectives and responsibilities.

2. Learning opportunities - The introduction of augmented reality (AR) into the medical device business has enabled doctors, healthcare practitioners, medical students, and patients to receive hands-on training and education. It has simplified the learning and understanding of complicated medical ideas.

3. Standardization - AR technology enables large-scale duplication of operations, allowing an organization or institute to be both affordable and consistent.

Wrap-Up

When it comes to technology adoption, health care tends to lag. However, there are compelling reasons for this. Doctors require time to demonstrate that new technology is safe and beneficial to them and the patients they treat. Costs and integrating new technologies into established operations are additional concerns. Despite the limitations, experts predict that augmented reality will be used increasingly in medicine. However, which technology and applications will be tested in the clinic remains to be seen. Rapid changes are inevitable as technology companies try to develop new applications for augmented reality, both within and outside the clinic.

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