Pharma & Healthcare


Reimagining Healthcare with Augmented Reality

Nibedita Chanda

Nibedita Chanda

May 27, 2019
Reimagining Healthcare with Augmented Reality

Healthcare is booming industry characterized by continuous development. Its remarkable achievements in terms of drug discoveries and technologies have reinvented medical care in many, many ways. Polluted environment and contaminated food and water have added to a wide range of diseases that remained unknown to the mankind. Exposure to chemicals and radiation have also created complications that science is struggling to cope with. All of these factors have had an indelible impact on the healthcare industry.

Out of the many technological adoptions made by the healthcare industry, usage of augmented reality (AR) has been a revolutionary one. Using AR has improved the ability of the doctors and surgeons to diagnose, treat, and perform surgery and extend any other kind of help that patients may need. AR is providing immense help by supporting diagnoses with accuracy and precision. Access to a faster, real-time data and patient information with the help of AR has had a massive influence in transforming healthcare.

The Past and the Present of Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Ove the years, healthcare and disruptive technologies have lent each other support to improve medical care standards and better standard of living for many. Introduction of next-generation living would have been impossible without adopting technologies. Though AR is known to be a new thing in the healthcare sector, its initiation is quite old. In 1965, Robert Mann had introduced the first virtual system in the medical sector to choose the best procedure to cure an orthopaedic ailment. It was also used to facilitate a new training environment for orthopaedic residents in a medical institution.

Today, several universities are working in tandem with healthcare facilities to understand their needs and develop solutions accordingly. University of Maryland's "Augmentarium," is a virtual and augmented reality research lab situated on its College Park campus, which has designed the tool in collaboration with the doctors from the University Of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Center.

AR has drastically changed the surgery procedures and methods of internal observation of the body. For example, different crucial brain surgeries, seeing under patient's skin, tissue, and reconnect blood vessels to rectify a disease can help the physicians to work with an unmatched efficiency. AR has helped reducing time taken for procedures providing a more relaxed environment for treatment for the patients.

Startups Chart Future of Augmented Reality

Today, there is a plethora of companies venturing into the world of creating AR solutions for medical facilities. Investments and grants are being awarded to companies for making serious research and development that will redefine the future of healthcare through the lens of augmented reality.

For example, BioFlightVR has brought AR doctor training and 360 enhanced videos to support physicians and surgeons to learn about new products and procedures within their field. EchoPixel is another company which develops medical imaging devices to help the doctors to use CT images of a patient's abdomen and display a 3D model. Roximie, on the other hand, is a revolutionary application which is transforming the way the surgeons work and teach. Medical Realities is an innovative group that specializing in virtual reality offers medical training products and other serious games.

The future of augmented reality in healthcare seems is full of optimism, as it is creating a safer ground for quick assessment of myriad medical complications.

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