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Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) were once solely dedicated to the game business. But now, both VR and AR are changing a lot of industries, including healthcare.

Ostap Zabolotnyy
Ostap ZabolotnyyMarketing Manager
Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Augmented reality (AR) isn't just for video games. In the field of healthcare, technology is making huge waves. Yes, you heard right! The use of augmented reality in healthcare has opened a world of possibilities. 

The increased use of augmented reality (AR) in the healthcare sector for surgical simulation, diagnostic imaging, patient care management, and rehabilitation is increasing sales prospects in the global AR in the healthcare market. 

According to Grandview Research, the demand for remote collaboration and the requirement to support a scattered workforce has pushed AR to a tipping point in its development.

According to a ResearchAndMarkets report from 2020, the healthcare AR industry would be worth $4 billion by 2025.

AR in Healthcare 

The potential of augmented reality opens a world of possibilities for doctors to work more efficiently. Its uses include improving surgery success rates, simplifying complex surgical operations, assisting patients in recovery, and much more. 

The market for these breakthroughs is already here. 

According to a new report by Grand View Research, the global market for augmented and virtual reality is expected to reach USD 3.8 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 48.7%. 

"If you believe that in future, healthcare will be delivered worldwide, there is massive scope for VR and AR technology." - Says Jennifer Radin, Principal Deloitte's healthcare practice. 

AR can dramatically improve customer engagement, improve education on complex issues, and generate differentiation with more potent branding, explaining a disease status, treatment procedure, or how a new medical gadget works. 

Applications of AR in Healthcare 

Medical Training 

Augmented reality teaches young medical students about human anatomy and other ideas more thoroughly and realistically. 

So that people can learn while seeing the practical details of procedures in 3D on devices. Augmented reality can be integrated into textbooks, and curriculums can become more technologically friendly, as viewing things in real life allows for a better understanding. 

Furthermore, AR can be utilized to learn about the function and effect of various pharmaceuticals and medications in the human body since graphics and animations are displayed alongside real photos with pop-ups of each process on the screen. Some complex concepts can be demonstrated in a practical way using technology. 

Medical Imaging 

Here, augmented reality can be a source of taking medical imaging to a whole new level; specialized devices can be used in conjunction with Internet of Things-based sensors and software to obtain various readings and carry out related diagnoses on patients, with graphics that can be seen and displayed in real-time to doctors in a relatively comprehensive and detailed manner. 

These qualities can be utilized to better educate patients about their disease and the effects of various treatments on their bodies, allowing them to take the appropriate measures and remain vigilant throughout their recovery. 

Surgery Preparation 

Augmented reality can show how procedures are carried out during various operations in a realistic manner. Instead of the traditional cadaver-based practice, they could be used as learning aids for learners to learn medical processes. 

They can be advised on their next step throughout the process to instill the learning process by performing it on their own. 

Furthermore, surgeries are prone to mortality; however, with the implementation of augmented reality, more safety measures can be taken than before; doctors and surgeons can be virtually assisted by their fellows, and as they operate, they can be more aware of the organ location, steps to deal with complications, vein mesh, and the reports and conditions of the patients right in front of their eyes. 

Better Symptom Description 

Doctors can check and have a say in the patient's actual condition by using augmented reality to get a better perspective of the condition that exceeds the patient's description without any margin for mistake. 

EyesDecide, for example, is medical software that uses a camera display to graphically simulate the impact of various conditions on a person's vision. This aids both doctors and patients in comprehending actual symptoms and treating them appropriately. 

Innovative Drug Information 

Pharmaceutical businesses can leave a trustworthy image in the minds of drug users by using augmented reality and graphics. Instead of reading medical language on the back of the syrup bottle to determine the efficacy of the treatment, patients can now view in 3D how the drugs act within their bodies to treat a specific medical problem. 

This can be easily accomplished by posting a detailed video image on the company's website, and patients can scan the barcode on the bottle to be directed to the same page, where they can see for themselves. 

Easier Vein Finding 

When using syringes to inject medications directly into the bloodstream, there is a reasonable probability of missing a vein in the first place, which is especially likely in the case of children and the elderly. 

AccuVein aims to solve this problem by employing augmented reality in a handheld scanner that can be moved across the skin and allows doctors and nurses to see where the veins in a patient's body are located. 

Such technologies reduce the likelihood of errors and complications for doctors and patients alike and assist medical professionals in sharpening their skills. 

Benefits of AR in Healthcare 

Following are some of the benefits of incorporating AR in the healthcare industry. 

  • The most significant advantage of augmented reality in healthcare is that it helps individuals understand incredibly detailed information. 
  • AR apps allow users to visualize intricate human anatomy using the ease of a smartphone or lightweight AR glasses. 
  • AR-based information is also easier to comprehend than traditional communication methods, and it allows for interactive walkthroughs. 
  • AR also allows for safe training and brainstorming without the need for real-life patient trials. 
  • Pharmaceutical stakeholders can test numerous chemical combinations without risking a drug's real-world trials. 8chili, Zoho Lens, and EchoPixel are startups specializing in AR healthcare applications. 

Augmented Reality Apps for Healthcare

AR helps medical professionals care for their patients faster, cleaner, smarter, and safer. 

Accuvein 

AccuVein AR uses intelligent vein imaging to assist doctors in rapidly, efficiently, and painlessly locating relevant veins in patients. AccuVein improves vascular access, resulting in increased patient satisfaction, annual savings of up to $350,000+, and a 350% increase in the likelihood of successful first-time injection. 

Augmedics XVision 

Augmedics XVision is the first augmented reality surgical guidance system in the world. Surgeons can use this equipment to visualize a 3D depiction of a patient's anatomy beneath their skin, ensuring that each operation is completed precisely. 

Holoanatomy 

The way medical students learn about their patient's anatomy is changing due to Microsoft's cutting-edge augmented reality technology. 

Rather than typical passive, didactic teaching approaches, HoloAntomy now offers a fully interactive experience in which human anatomy can participate and learn in previously unimaginable ways rather than typical passive, didactic teaching approaches. 

Medivis 

Another example of how augmented reality affects the future of computer-assisted surgery is Medivis. 

Medical practitioners may use Medivis to harness and utilize the potential of AR artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance patient outcomes, lower expenses, and increase efficiency inside medical institutions. 

Dorothy 

Dorothy is the first augmented reality assistant to help people with memory loss live better, more fulfilled lives. Dorothy uses cutting-edge augmented reality technology to enable individuals with memory loss to navigate any environment and remind them to accomplish daily duties. 

Dorothy also assists caretakers in keeping track of their patients' whereabouts to ensure that they are always in a secure and reachable location. 

Top AR Companies in Healthcare

Numerous interesting projects are attempting to introduce AR to healthcare. I decided to compile a list of the most relevant companies developing cutting-edge augmented reality technologies. 

Orca's Health EyeDecide 

Orca Health is a cutting-edge mobile software startup based in Utah founded in 2010 to bridge the patient-healthcare provider gap. EyeDecide is a medical app developed by the venture that uses the camera display to simulate the impact of conditions on a person's vision. 

The app can highlight the impact of Cataracts or AMD and assist patients in understanding their current medical situation. 

Brain Power 

The Massachusetts-based technology firm, founded in 2013, has been focusing on applying cutting-edge neuroscience with the most recent wearable technologies, specifically Google Glass. 

The startup develops brain-science-driven software to transform wearables into neuro-assistive gadgets for autism's educational obstacles. They aim to teach life skills to autistic children and adults. They created the "Empowered Brain," a one-of-a-kind software suite to assist children with their social skills, language, and positive habits. 

Medsights Tech 

Could you ever foresee the X-ray view becoming a reality? Medsights Tech is working hard to make it happen. The company created software to investigate the viability of employing augmented reality to build accurate 3-dimensional tumor reconstructions. 

The sophisticated image reconstruction technique essentially provides surgeons with x-ray views in real-time — without any radiation exposure. 

Echopixel 

The California-based startup, founded in 2012, creates diagnostic, surgical planning, and image-guided treatment tools. 

Its True 3D technology uses a wide range of current medical image datasets to provide radiologists, cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists, and interventional neuroradiologists with the ability to view patient-specific anatomy in an open 3D space. 

Future of Augmented Reality in Healthcare 

In the future, everyone will be able to be their doctor to some extent, resulting in better and more efficient medical care. Of course, some diagnoses require the assistance of a professional, but quick AR/VR telemedicine solutions will make the experience of visiting a specialist less unpleasant and frustrating. 

Subscribing to medications and treatments through smartphones, smart glass, or wearable devices, Are you out of medicine? Your smart gadget will detect and send a notification to your local pharmacist, or in the not-too-distant future, it will create its tablets using a 3D printer. 

Conclusion 

In the field of medicine, augmented reality is a miracle. We are now in the experimental stage of AR, but it will soon be employed in a full-fledged manner. Everything will be done with ease using AR technology, from assisting surgeons in surgeries to staff training to patient rehab programs. 

People will be able to monitor their health in real-time and take preventative measures to ensure that they remain healthy in the future. AR is a game-changer and the healthcare system's future.

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