Augmented Reality in Healthcare

An article published in Physician’s Weekly entitled Is AR coming to Healthcare? is interesting in that it shows (from a healthcare providers viewpoint) a brief overview of what is happening with Augmented Reality in Healthcare, which we know from our provider members and from research to be a key area of growth for Enterprise AR.

The short article mentions a number of providers, some of whom are AREA members one of which is Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. The HoloLens 2 smartglasses can connect to remote experts, holographically overlay patient data, and consult MRI images in 3D. They combine existing features—such as high-resolution images, better performance, and eye-tracking—to deliver an interesting full package.

In conjunction with Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, Microsoft has developed a HoloLens app, HoloAnatomy, that allows medical students to see every aspect of the human body, from muscles to veins, in 3D on a dynamic holographic model. Microsoft is not alone in this space.

Facebook has the wireless Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, just one of multiple types that Oculus is producing. As more technology and applications become available, exciting new opportunities await healthcare professionals.

Accuvein uses projection-based AR in its handheld device that illuminates peripheral veins on the skin’s surface with the goal of improving venipuncture.

Amazon and Intel are getting into this space, as is a Chinese company called Nreal (a former AREA member) which is developing mixed reality technology in the 5G era.

A mixed reality viewer from Brainlab, whose software and hardware create and enhance data, aims to improve critical surgeries and make the operating room more efficient.

The article does state that “down the road, AR healthcare apps could help surgeons become more efficient at surgeries”, however, that is very much a reality already, as many customers are already using Augmented Reality in surgery, such as AREA member Vuzix whose smartglasses have been used in surgery. See News Pixee Medical Surgery Solution Has Received Clearance to Enter U.S. Knee Surgery Market with Vuzix AR M400 Smart Glasses

“The worldwide AR and VR market will experience continued growth, thanks to a slowly warming reception and an increase in the number of new devices arriving to market,” says Ramon Llamas, research director, IDC’s Augmented and Virtual Reality team.


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