Augmented Reality and Healthcare…the future of well being…

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Augmented reality (AR) has fascinating potential to revolutionize healthcare, superimposing virtual over the real to enhance existing environments like the OR, training room among others. AR enabled healthcare applications and educational tools are designed to enhance skills, reduce errors, optimize time and effort and reduce costs.

AR enabled devices and applications can be used for educating doctors and patients about current situations, prescribed treatments, surgical procedures, post surgical medication alternative therapies and much much more…

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Some of the notable AR enabled healthcare applications are…

• AccuVein is a handheld scanner that illuminates the veins on a patient’s skin, helping nurses and doctors locate veins before inserting a needle.
• VA-ST enhances vision for people with visual impairment.
• VR Dentist is an application which simulates dental procedures and is a proven app for dental training.
• Anatomy 4D enables accurate visualization of the skeletal construction and organ systems which is helpful in learning as well as possible surgical procedures.
• SimX is an AR application which enables a 3D projection of a patient undergoing any kind of ailment and is used as model for educating doctors or patients on possible treatment procedures.

• Pharmaceuticals companies are leveraging AR technology to educate patients on drugs they are taking, through visual models instead of long and boring technical descriptions on the bottle.
• Keyhole surgery. With the use of AR, a surgeon can visualize the patient’s body, through the layers of skins, muscles and bones. This technology is almost like having X-ray vision with a complete 3D model of the patient’s body beneath.

Augmented reality has the potential to redefine healthcare and medicine for physicians and patients alike, in ways we cannot comprehend. The uniqueness of AR is that it creates enriched environments without changing the reality of a situation but increases the possibilities by simply projecting visual enhancements. The future of medicine will be strongly influenced by Augmented Reality and its applications…

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