Health and Headsets: The Future of Augmented Reality in Healthcare
It’s official. The future of augmented reality will have a major impact on the healthcare industry.
In fact, some of this technology has already transcended from science fiction to science fact. More and more, both healthcare professionals and patients are seeing the indispensable value of AR in the medical field.
For one thing, AR outperforms previous medical visual aids in terms of cost and effectiveness. And, for the most part, AR technology is cheap, accurate, interactive, and available to the general public. The applications are limitless!
To learn more about AR in healthcare, read this guide.
AR can be used as an excellent, interactive visual aid for education. For example, it can work as a simulated x-ray, showing patients specific parts of their internal anatomy. The AR lets them see how these parts work and how certain health problems, medications, or medical procedures affect their body.
This same type of tool is also beneficial for those training for a career in healthcare. Using AR, surgeons in training can practice on a dummy that looks like a living, breathing human.
AR in Practice
This same visual aid described above can help actual surgeons prep for real surgery. It gives them a virtual, three-dimensional look into the patient’s body before the incisions begin.
Thus, they can view the many layers of body tissue (veins, muscle, bones, organs) with great accuracy. This, in turn, improves the accuracy of surgical preparations, such as the size and location of necessary incisions.
Lower-level healthcare workers can use this technology to locate veins for bloodwork. An example of this that’s in use today is AccuVein.
Dentists could use AR combined with patient x-rays and dental history to display relevant, customized information during dental procedures. The AR display would pinpoint/label details of the patient’s dental information, such as cavities and fillings, overlayed over their actual mouth. Learn more here.
AR Healthcare Apps For Patients
Patients can download AR apps to help them learn and perform physical therapy exercises correctly. For example, an AR app can tell patients if they are positioned properly when doing the exercise.
Plus, such apps can measure the patient’s progress, like how much their range of motion in a certain joint has increased. This is hugely beneficial for encouraging PT patients and helping them reach their goals.
It also makes PT more convenient. Since patients can monitor their own performance and track their own progress, they’ll need far fewer appointments with their therapist.
Beyond PT, patients can use AR apps to scan their immediate surroundings to locate medical services. AED4EU is one such app.
It overlays information over the user’s smartphone camera, directing them to the nearest automated external defibrillator. Users can get access to these life-saving devices the very minute the emergency occurs instead of waiting half an hour for first responders to arrive.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Healthcare
The future of augmented reality will change the healthcare industry forever. Next time you have an appointment, ask your doctor how AR technology can help you.
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