Augmented reality (AR) is the art of superimposing computer-generated content over a live view of the world. AR integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real time and becomes more and more affordable in medical education, imaging, dentistry etc.. Also there is an app called AccuVein, VIPAR, ARnatomy and VA-ST are available for medical solutions.
- Dentistry: AR software built to be fit in smart glasses imposes the real time scan from a dentist scan and helps to build precise crowns and caps.
- Training nurses: AR enabled tablet based simulations help nurses to connect through patients more and also to know exactly what problem it is and help daily work situations which requires a lot of social, technical and teamwork skills.
source: E&T Magazine
- Medical Imaging: AR enhances visualization of CT or MRI data by superimposing stereoscopic during a surgical procedure. This is most important in surgeries as it requires precise navigation to a particular organ. For example AR can be used to pre plan the operation related to tumor or surrounding procedure such as minimally invasive partial nephrectomy or radical prostatectomy where the challenging anatomy of the vascular or nervous system could complicate the tumor removal.
Medical Education: Professors leverage AR to educate medical students and also let doctors study more about drugs and new theories. There is an app called ARnatomy which is an optical character recognition app to access textbook images and also to overlay digital information on the human body which helps students learn more about bones and muscles. Its goal is to reduce bulky textbooks.
- Pediatric MRI evaluation: Current Studios has made an app which measures a child’s ability to lie down to perform an operation. This will give an MRI report of the child which helps doctors to make the decision whether to give anesthesia or not.
- Helping the visually impaired: VA-ST’s smartspecs help to make visual appearance of daily things and people using 3D recognition software. It helps visually impaired to find lost items , find people and easily navigate their environment.
- Visualization of peripheral vasculature: The AccuVein AV400 digitally displays a real-time map of vasculature on the skin surface, allowing doctors to see vein patency. Patients feel less discomfort during a venipuncture procedure.
- Remote surgical expertise: VIPAR (Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality) helps to surpass telemedicine. A surgeon remotely guides peers to help in the operation by projecting hands in the AR display.
source: journal of neurosurgery
Healthcare focused AR applications.
Healthcare focused AR applications which are available in Apple and Android.
- Eyedecide: Uses a smartphone camera to simulate the impact of various disorders and on patient vision and also to explain them about cataract and age related macular degeneration.
- DoctorMole: This application helps analyze the suspicious moles on the body and give instant feedback and is useful in detecting malignant lesions.
- Healthcare App by pixelbug: Helps physicians easily understand the mechanism of a new device and its functionality.
- Anatomy 4D: Gives professionals, students and teachers an interactive 4D view of the human anatomy with respect to spatial relationships of organs, skeleton and muscles.
- MEVIS Surgery App: Developed by Fraunhofer MEVIS, it offers 3D reconstruction of real organs. It helps surgeons use this platform to perform resection using overlaid images displayed on an iPad that helps in locating blood vessels.
- MedicAR: A Google Glass app for surgeons to properly align incision points for less patient trauma. It is expected to be used in complex surgeries and MRI exams.
What is the future?
The AR market will resemble the smartphone market, so targeting the population worldwide. Already AR is witnessing an influx of software and hardware, mobile data and voice data with a large number of mergers and acquisitions.
AR companies have to see that they regulate privacy concerns if they want to enter health care space, which will be beneficial for AR assisted surgeries, staff training and in patient behavioral and rehabilitation programs.
It has been forecasted that by 2025 consumers will be able to analyze their health and well being in real time through AR apps and also they will come to know how time and unhealthy lifestyle will affect their bodies.
Want to know in which industries other than healthcare Augmented Reality is used ? Read our blog now.