In the previous 2 blogs we saw the list of varied applications of Virtual Reality Technology in Medical Sciences. In this blog we would see the other emerging technology in Healthcare Industry which is changing the face and practice of it i.e. Augmented Reality. Just like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality gained popularity almost at the same time.
We told you about some basics of Augmented Reality in my Infographic Blog. But as we all know these two realities are bit confusing. So before moving to know about the applications of it in Medical Sciences, lets revise the concept of Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality is a technology that adds value to the real world by overlaying and displaying real-time digital information and media. It supports media such as videos and 3D models, via camera view in your smartphone, tablet, PC or via wearable tech such as a viewfinder or smart glasses.
Just like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality is improving the treatment quality received by patients. It also helps in improving the management of a patient’s aftercare. It also helps in ensuring a patient receives the best available care in the hospital. The benefits are two-folded for doctors. First aspect is the applications that help in getting a better training and education. Second aspect is use of the technology to monumentally enhance their ability to diagnose their patients and treat the diseased conditions.
List of Applications of Augmented Reality in Healthcare
1. Training and Education Applications of AR –
Training and Education of Medical Sciences forms the complete one aspect of the benefits Healthcare field received because of incorporating Augmented Reality with it. It is undoubtedly important that with the knowledge of surgical procedures, disease pathology, and human anatomy the medical students should also know about the real life implications. Augmented Reality has transformed the training and education of medicines into a more interactive session where the students can map the theory in the books to the real world applications. AR apps have helped in understanding the concepts in a better way by overlaying the information on 3D Printed human skeleton and can even give you the 3D illustration of anything from the textbooks.
The technology could also be used for making augmented brochures for doctors for educating them on new therapies and drugs. The models can be accessed anytime and anywhere by anyone just by scanning the custom trackers and models pop up immediately.
2. ARnatomy –
All the medical students do need to study the Anatomy of Human Body. The traditional methods involve textbooks, charts, flash cards and bone boxes which tried and tested methods giving results till date. Augmented Reality app ARnatomy has added one more layer to this study pattern making it more interactive. They are working on a few projects to add more features like usage of OCR which would help in matching a word like “femur” with visuals and info on that particular bone.
3. Anatomy 4D –
This is again an app developed for the educational purposes for the medical colleges. This app gives an interactive 4D experience of human anatomy to teachers, medical professionals, and students of all levels. This app comes packed with many features like navigation in which you can tilt or rotate the specimen to any degrees as per your need. You can even search for the specific structure in it or get guidance for identifying the structure automatically. One of the best feature is of Layering. It helps you see the layers of the human structure as seen during a dissection.
4. Diagnostic and Treatment Applications of AR –
This domain forms the second aspects of benefits of incorporating the Augmented Reality Technology into the Medicine Industry. From minor surgeries to complex tumor surgeries, all have seen an improvement in success rate by utilizing the Augmented Reality Technologies. It has given surgeons an ability to access information about the patient receiving the treatment much quicker and in real-time. This ability has actually benefitted the surgery procedures to the maximum as the vital statistics can be made visible all the time without shifting their attention from patient to screens.
5. Augmented Reality help describe symptoms in patients in better way –
One difficulty that every one of us face is describing the symptoms of our problem to the doctors. The other problem is that there are some people who overreact to their medical situation and there are some people who belittle their condition. Augmented Reality has given the answer for all this. For example, the app can demonstrate the impact of Cataract or AMD and thus help patients understand their symptoms and medical state in a better way. It can also help them understand the long-term effects of their lifestyle on their health.
6. VIPAAR –
VIPAAR is short for Virtual Interactive Presence And Augmented Reality for remote surgical assistance. It is a video support solution, which helps a remote surgeon to operate a patient via the surgeon on the site wearing Glass and point and guide. It is more than the concept portrayed by the Telemedicine. The idea is to bring in the expertise of a remote surgeon to a situation where it’s needed. It offers a platform for remote video support that is to work with most of the common devices already in the clinic or field site, with infrastructure requirements that apply to Expert side only.
7. AccuVein –
AccuVein, a startup company is making the lives of nurses and patients easy by using the AR Technology. As per stats 40% of IVs (intravenous injections0 miss the vein on the first stick, this number is increasing in children and the elderly. AccuVein is a handheld scanner that projects over skin and shows nurses and doctors where veins and their valves and bifurcations are in patients’ bodies. They are of great help while performing cosmetic surgeries.
In the above list we saw how education and training of Medical Sciences has been benefitted by integration of Augmented Reality in it. You also saw how diagnosis and treatment by doctors is improving with the use of Augmented Reality Apps. In next blog, we would see some more applications which has improved the aspects of treatments by Doctors.