Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review | Augmented Reality Healthcare Inroads

By Joe Randolph | Augmented reality (AR) is gaining traction in health care by providing us with another dimension to our physical world, and allowing us to see a digital layer of text or images to enhance what we experience in the real world.

As an example, AR can provide surgeons with 3-D reconstructions of tumors with x-ray views in real time.

While video games stimulate fantasy, creativity, and develop skills for holistic vision, the medical field has seen that AR doesn’t need to be just fun and games; it can be used as a smart tool for patient care. Although games can be lucrative, software companies are now seeing new opportunities to develop products for clinicians that provide enhanced 3-D visualization for more accurate patient analysis and treatment. This technology has the potential to be disruptive and to reshape health care. One day in the not so distant future, I can see AR being widely adopted by clinicians as a complementary tool to aid procedures, as well as assist other health care professionals and patients.

AR is a valuable technology that is helping us create experiences that will advance patient care. One of Top 10 Medical Innovations that our alliance partner Cleveland Clinic has highlighted for 2017 is 3-D Visualization and Augmented Reality for Surgery. The overview paints a scenario of a surgeon being immersed into a high resolution, 3-D visual representation of the patient. Rather than having to perform surgery with limited peripheral vision and communication with staff, especially during intense operations, the surgeon is able to generate visual templates to perform certain procedures. As you can see, this scenario provides for more precise patient care, while also ensuring that the surgeon’s abilities are maximized, and costs are minimized. More…