How is Augmented Reality Being Used in Medicine?
Augmented Reality in the healthcare industry is groundbreaking. Right now technological advancements like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are key factors driving the current business growth in healthcare. With the help of these key factors, especially AR, healthcare professionals are now able to perform medical procedures with more precision and accuracy. How might you ask?
In simple terms, AR uses computer technology to generate virtual objects and integrate them into the real environment. AR isn’t new in the field of medicine; in fact, it has been around since 2005 when a device called a near-infrared vein finder was used to help healthcare professionals locate patients’ veins. Fast forward to now, and we have more advanced devices such as Computerized Axial Tomography which allows doctors to look deeper inside the human body and TeleHealth which is used for communication by healthcare professionals in remote areas.
3 Ways Augmented Reality is Being Used in Healthcare
TREATMENT FOR DISABILITIES
AR has also become a major part in treating different disabilities and impairments. An example of this is the use of NuEyes, a pair of smart glasses that help enhance the way visually impaired patients see. Brain Power, on the other hand, is an AR-based software which helps transform wearable devices such as Google Glasses into neuro-assistive AI systems that help people who have mental challenges such as autism. Here’s a video from Brain Power about the software and how it can help people with autism gain self-sufficiency and change their lives for the better.
Augmented Surgery can do what no man was ever capable of doing. With humans in power of Augmented Surgery, we can stitch as something small as a grape.
Further, surgeons and doctors can now see their patients wherever they are in the country or the world. Even in remote war-torn areas where no medical team would dare to go near, surgeons from all over the globe can now perform extremely advanced surgery using Augmented Reality.
ULTRASOUND THROUGH AR
AR has revolutionized the way doctors perform ultrasounds for patients. Dr. Amitabh Varshney together with Dr. Sarah Murthi, professors at the University of Maryland developed an AR system which displays real-time ultrasound data through AR headsets. With the use of AR headsets, doctors are able to see a unified view of an ultrasound data gathered by a probe directly attached to the patient. In this video, you’ll see another AR-based software being used to help healthcare practitioners perform an ultrasound.
Augmented reality has come a long way with surgery, ultrasound, and treatment for disabilities such as vision impairment and autism. A lot of researchers today are making groundbreaking discoveries that can help revolutionize the way healthcare professionals execute medical procedures and enhance the way people educate themselves in health. Augmented Reality will continue to make great advances in healthcare and medicine for years to come.