Augmented reality (AR) has such a vital application in the health field that it covers all aspects of the industry from screening and check-ups to post-surgery follow-ups. Diagnoses and the surgery itself are taking advantage of AR's potential to make going to the doctor easier, more efficient and more accurate, and collaborative AR solutions in the operating room are poised to revolutionize the way surgeons practice their craft.
Diagnoses via AR
Diagnosing an illness can be a matter of life and death in many situations. Although doctors must go through rigorous training with med school and residencies, misdiagnosis does happen with patients. Patients with the inability to verbalize their symptoms or inconclusive testing is a significant factor in misdiagnosis, but this can be offset by using augmented reality technologies.
EyeDecide, an application from Orca Health, uses a series of cameras to simulate different ailments to the patient’s eyes and how the patient will react to them. This can better help optometrists deduce what kind of procedures and follow-up methods are necessary and what kind of prescriptions and types of eyewear would help them see more clearly. Much like an augmented reality Snapchat filter, it is another layer of diagnosis that optometrists can elect to use with patients.
Surgery via AR
Surgery is one of the most crucial elements in the field of health care because it is the most invasive and requires the most pinpoint accuracy and on the fly decision making and problem-solving. Surgery can be the difference between someone regaining function of their limbs, or becoming wheelchair bound or paralyzed from the neck down.
SentiAR is another application looking to aid surgeons in their operating rooms. By using a holographic visualization above the patient, surgeons can accurately map and keep track of their steps, and to isolate a specific area of the body. It is most commonly used with cardiac problems and displays a holographic heart suspended above the body that is patient specific. Mapping out the body is an integral element to SentiAR, which allows for this specificity when it comes to different patients.
Collaborative medicinal solutions
The age-old additive is that two brains are better than one. With augmented reality changing how surgeons learn off of each other and collaborate on particularly cerebral patient challenges, some solutions integrate medicine, collaboration, and surgery into one practical application.
Award-winning Proximie is a live surgery feed which encourages physicians, surgeons, and doctors across the globe to join in and help point out in real time areas of concern during medical procedures. It is a collaborative tool that lets another human being guide you when you are inside the human body and is like having a doctor right next to you helping you with your surgery.
Having a live hand pointing out where to cut, where to sow, where to use suction projected on top of the surgical camera helps the surgeon that is working on the patient to problem solve and find the best solution and approach for their patients.
Arguably the most important industry is healthcare. Arguably the fastest developing is augmented and virtual reality. With AR technologies aiding physicians and hospitals around the world, we can hope to use it in the pursuit of living happy and healthy lives. From the implications it has already had so early on in its life cycle, AR can redefine the way we look at medicine.