The healthcare industry has always been one of the industries that rapidly adapts advancing technologies. That is, technology and healthcare are two inseparable things – they go along together really well, we can assure.
Apparently, the invention of the first-ever magnifying glass in 1250 forecasts the upcoming healthcare technologies. And now, the technology just keeps on evolving. That's why it's no strange at all, seeing AR also being incorporated by healthcare practitioners.
With the expected grow rate at 25.5% by 2027, even higher than the one predicted prior to COVID-19, we can't help but to dig into what AR has contributed to the industry these past few years.
So, how can AR become a worthwhile tool for the healthcare industry? Read on!
1. Change how students learn about medical education
Ever learnt about the human or animal's anatomy? Or any particular organ parts?
Normally, students learn all about it using an anatomical model or a 2D image. But oftentimes, it gets harder once they have to look deeper into it. Not everyone can perceive the same point of view and details, and all in all, it will only be a complete nuisance to learn.
However, with augmented reality, it's going to be totally different. With 3D models augmented into real life, everyone can have fun and view the details in any angle while also absorbs new insights.
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Furthermore, students or interns can also use AR to practice on how to conduct surgery. No, it's not on a real body, and yes, it's all virtual.
TouchSurgery is one of the examples. Using an AR game-like method, students can go through surgical training without having to harm a patient. Technically, it's way safer!
2. Increase accuracy & efficiency for surgery
In cases like surgeries, technology plays a great role as a tool that can help surgeons. That also applies with the augmented reality. But, how does it exactly help them?
According to a research conducted by the University of Alberta and the University of Salento, AR was proven to be "significantly useful" in laparoscopic surgery. It will also be extremely helpful for the minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
With AR, surgeons can augment the scan results into the patients body. Then, it can be used to assist them right away when performing the surgery.
Not only that it increases the accuracy and efficiency, AR could also reduce the post-trauma and scars, so that they can recover better. In fact, the first-ever AR-assisted surgery already took place in February 2020 at Bologna’s Sant’Orsola hospital, and said to be a "vital aid" during operation.
Moreover, the use of AR can also help surgeons or nurses in determining the exact location on where to make injections. A startup company named AccuVein creates the solution, providing a handheld scanner to project over skin and show where the veins are inside the patient's body.
3. Diagnose patients' symptoms easily
Ever had a moment when you go to the doctor, but you're struggling to describe the symptoms you experience? Well, we all had, at least once.
However, with the help of AR, you won't need to experience the struggle anymore. Not only that it helps you, it also benefits the doctors in determining the symptoms accurately later on.
From so many apps out there, EyeDecide is one of the alternatives available. Using a camera display, it will simulate the vision of a patient that suffers from a specific condition. This will be a great help for doctors, so that they can look over the symptoms precisely.
Another practical use of AR is about patient documentation. It will save a lot of time for doctors, since they don't have to look for the patient's data whenever the patient visits.
Augmedix, a San-Fransisco-based startup company, utilizes the Google Glass to make a more patient-centric service, as well as to cut down time on administration purposes. Once a patient visits, doctors will view all the data they need to know in the glasses. No more computer checking!
4. Make remote consultation possible
Believe us, remote consultation is not something futuristic, because with augmented reality, it's already possible to do it nowadays.
By doing a remote consultation, both you and your doctor can arrange the time flexibly, anywhere and anytime. And most importantly, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, this obviously becomes a perfect solution.
One research conducted by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan has provided suggestions on how AR can be implemented for remote consultations.
While communicating with their patients in video conferences, doctors were also equipped with an AR visualization of their patient's data. Using the AR remote system, it enhances the effectivity and can save up the time & energy for both parties.
Apparently, this kind of solution has also been adapted in India and on American research stations in the Antarctic!
5. Create guides for hospital workers & visitors
With the pandemic surging all over the world, it encourages all industry players to create AR virtual guides.
The healthcare industry also hopped into the hype, becoming the industry that embraces AR more than other properties for its facilities management, with 30% adoption rate.
For the workers, this virtual guide functions to visualize the step-by-step for maintenances and repair processes. While for the visitors, it allows them to navigate themselves in the hospital building and enriches their personal experience.
Take an example from a group of researchers from the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan. They developed an AR-based navigation system app known as ARBIN, and then experimented the project in the outpatient area of the National Taiwan University Hospital YunLin Branch.
Interestingly, the results show that it provides accuracy as well as correct instructions for the visitors through their phone screens! It's proven to be extremely practical.
So, that's it about the augmented reality implementations in the healthcare industry. Can't wait to unveil how AR is going to elevate the industry more and more. To get the latest updates about AR implementations in varied industries, check out our AR Insights!
If you are keen to utilize augmented reality for your healthcare business, or any other business purposes, contact us at [email protected]. We'd be glad to help! 😉
In Assemblr, we believe that all people – including you – can create and present your own AR experiences. With an easy-to-use application, Assemblr empowers people to implement AR in any occasion. Interested to unveil more possibilities of AR? Download Assemblr now, available in App Store and Play Store!