Augmented Reality in Healthcare: A Boon for Medical Students and Patients Alike
The benefits of augmented reality technology have not been lost on those working in the healthcare sector. One apparent use of augmented reality in healthcare is to aid with patient education. The knowledge of anatomy & physiology is essential for anyone working in the healthcare industry.
With augmented reality programmes, students may view & manipulate 3-d models of their own bodies. Yet, the advantages of AR are not limited to those in the medical field. As a tool for patient education, it’s also proven to be quite effective in explaining things like surgical procedures & how drugs operate to patients.
Surgeons now employ a variety of methods to visualise the surgical site, but augmented reality’s ability to project 3-d models of the patient’s anatomy into the surgeon’s field of view has the potential to vastly increase surgical precision and patient outcomes.
Vein visualisation is a real-world example of augmented reality’s usefulness. Getting an injection or having blood drawn may be a traumatic experience for many individuals; this discomfort is compounded when it takes many attempts to locate a vein.
For instance, modern hospitals make use of a device called AccuVein, which projects a map of a patient’s veins onto their skin, allowing medical staff to more easily locate the vein the first time around. When it comes to exploring the potential of augmented reality, no one does it better than CableLabs, the leading research organisation for the cable and internet industries.
The Near Future, A Better Place is an intriguing look at how the combination of growing network capacity and augmented reality promises to improve the lives of those who rely on healthcare services in the future.
Although augmented reality is now in widespread usage in the healthcare industry across the United States, there is still a ways to go before the vision given by companies like CableLabs becomes a reality. This implies that enterprises with an understanding of AR & the foresight to develop cutting-edge AR goods and applications will find a vast market for their efforts.
- Nowadays, augmented reality is employed in hospitals all around the world for a variety of purposes, including vein visualization, surgical visualization, and patient education.
- Recent improvements in hardware and software have lowered the barrier of entry for AR and vastly improved the experience for consumers and developers alike.
- Healthcare providers with an eye towards the future are looking at augmented reality’s potential benefits for their clients and bottom line.
We’re still in the early stages of AR’s potential in healthcare, but we should expect to see major improvements in areas like patient and provider education, communication, and health outcomes in the near future.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Healthcare
Augmented reality elements are being utilized by both experienced medical professionals & medical students during training & education to explain & educate medical experience in a relatively safe, cost-effective & all-encompassing manner.
It would also be accurate to remark that the medical industry is becoming more progressive as a result of this abundance of information available matching real-world settings and a precise method of presenting.
From dentists to surgeons & everyone in between, individuals are using AR-based medical applications to educate themselves on fundamentals like anatomy & first aid. In order to utilize an augmented reality-based system, users need access to a smartphone, the internet & in certain situations, a specific application.
Startups are also working to transform healthcare into an augmented reality adaptable sector since they too have seen the benefits of technology advancement.
Health Care Augmented Reality Applications
1. Medical Training
In healthcare, medical education is where augmented reality has a particularly large user base. The use of augmented reality to teach young medical students about human anatomy and other topics in a realistic and in-depth manner.
In order to help students better understand complex concepts by displaying them in a 3D environment on their devices. It’s clear that viewing things in real life has a broader scope for greater learning, therefore it makes sense to combine augmented reality with textbooks & make curricula more tech-friendly.
The visuals and animations, in addition to the real photos with pop-ups of each process on the screen, make AR useful for studying the working & effect of various pharmaceuticals and medication within the human body. With this technology, we can show people some really complicated ideas.
2. Preparing for Surgery
It’s important to remember that medical surgery is just one sector of healthcare. With augmented reality, we can show in detail how various surgical procedures are carried out. These can serve as learning aids for students learning medical procedures without access to real cadavers.
They can be instructed on what to do next at every stage of the process, embedding the learning process through independent practice.
In addition, surgical procedures have a high mortality rate, but with the help of augmented reality, these risks can be mitigated by allowing doctors & surgeons to collaborate virtually with one another & by displaying information about the patient’s organs, veins & reports & conditions directly in front of their eyes during the procedure.
3. Clinical Radiology
In order to proceed with therapy, it may be necessary to check on the health of the patient’s internal organs during some medical operations. Conventional medical diagnostic tools include thermometers, X-rays, electrocardiograms, magnetic resonance imaging scans, etc.
Here, augmented reality may serve as a catalyst for completely revolutionizing the field of medical imaging by enabling the use of specialized hardware in tandem with Internet of Things-based sensors & software to obtain multiple readings & diagnose patients with the aid of highly detailed, real-time visuals.
Patients may benefit from this type of functionality by learning more about their disease and the effects of various therapies on their bodies. This will allow them to take the appropriate measures and pay close attention during the healing process.
4. Improved Symptom Statement
Patients frequently make one of two common mistakes when trying to describe their symptoms to doctors: they either overstate their severity or downplay their significance. Because of this, a patient may receive inappropriate care.
With the use of augmented reality, doctors may get a clearer picture of their patients’ conditions, one that goes beyond the patient’s description and leaves no room for error.
As an illustration, EyesDecide is a camera-based medical software that may simulate the visual effects of various illnesses on a user. Both the medical staff and the patients benefit from a more accurate grasp of the patient’s symptoms.
5. Current Drug Innovations
Pharmaceutical businesses may build consumer trust via the usage of their products by employing augmented reality and visuals. Patients may now view in 3D how the pharmaceuticals act within their bodies against a specific medical problem, as opposed to reading about the efficacy of the treatment in medical language on the back of the syrup container.
Patients may see for themselves by scanning a barcode on the bottle and being sent directly to the company’s website where a thorough video graphic explains everything.
In addition to using augmented reality-based interfaces for patient education, the corporation may utilize such interfaces internally to direct the production process by providing the workers with comprehensive visuals and instructions on their cellphones or on the displays installed at each step.
6. Locating Veins with Ease
There is a danger of missing a vein the first time around when injecting medications directly into the bloodstream using syringes; this is especially likely to happen when dealing with younger or older patients.
AccuVein is an augmented reality device that uses a portable scanner that can be dragged across a patient’s skin to help medical professionals locate veins.
By reducing human error and other potential difficulties, these tools are helping medical professionals hone their craft & better serve their patients. Vinny Luciano, an AccuVein marketing specialist, claims that the software makes it 3.5 times more likely to discover a vein on the first stick.
Medical professionals & medical students alike stand to benefit greatly from augmented reality technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare sector. From basic anatomy lectures to intricate surgical operations, augmented reality may provide a realistic & in-depth simulation of complex topics & a collaborative platform for virtual teamwork between physicians & surgeons.
We may anticipate the emergence of new and innovative uses in healthcare as augmented reality technology develops, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and patient care.