Augmented & Virtual Reality

Three Ways AR/VR Enhances Health Care

This article is based on a story originally published in It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®.

Overview Augmented and virtual reality, once mostly grounded in the world of entertainment, has made strides in health care and enabled remote solutions for some of the most delicate patient needs.

Virtual communications and remote solutions have become the norm amid safety concerns in 2020. From work-from-home meetings to retail supply chains, various daily operations and services have found contactless alternatives.

Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) have made many of these new solutions possible and fun, opening doors not just in entertainment but in sports tech, travel and more.

AR/VR has also proven to be an effective coworker in health care, reducing costs and saving lives — even from afar.

Here are three applications of AR/VR in the health care industry.

Spine Surgery Navigation System

An AR navigation system called xvision spine system allows surgeons to visualize their patients’ spine through skin and tissue, accurately and efficiently perform surgeries. Rather than needing to look at a remote screen separate from the patient, a surgeon is now able to look directly at where they are working, increasing accuracy and reducing surgical time, saving potentially life-changing seconds.

Easy Intravenous Access

According to the National Institutes of Health, it can take, on average, two or three attempts to establish intravenous (IV) access — finding a vein. The AR-enabled AccuVein Vein Finder improves the success of IV access for health care professionals. Two lasers working together provides a visual projection of a needed vein with accuracy within the width of a human hair.

Virtual Practice Surgeries

VR technology in the Surgical Rehearsal Platform allows surgeons to practice complicated surgical procedures before a real surgery. The platform enhances CT and MRI images to create detailed 360-degree digital models of a patient’s anatomy.

Pediatric neuro- and cardiac surgery programs at the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital use the platform to provide pediatric surgeons with intricate planning tools.

For medical students, tools like the Surgical Rehearsal Platform could better prepare them for in-person surgeries.

Learn more about the future of AR/VR in health care in the full article on i3 magazine.

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