How different yet complements to each other : Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is one of the most promising digital health technologies at present and it has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and medicine industry completely for physicians and patients. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Healthcare both remarkably alter our perception. However, Augmented Reality differs from its most known “relative” Virtual Reality (VR) since the latter creates a 3D world completely detaching the user from reality by transposing the user via closed VR Headsets while the former, Augmented Reality, keeps the user in its current existence and just augments it with virtual information. In a simpler way, Augmented Reality brings a new dimension to healthcare and medicine.
Augmented Reality (AR) : A Revolutionary Tool in Future Healthcare
While both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will change the future of healthcare and medicine , there are two respects in which Augmented Reality is unique: users do not lose touch with reality, and it puts information into eyesight as fast as possible. These distinctive features enable Augmented Reality to become a driving force in the future of medicine. In the case of Augmented Reality, the use of technology in medicine and healthcare is a natural consequence of the technological development and data boom.
Benefits of Augmented Reality in Healthcare
- New Augmented Reality innovations can help enhance doctors and surgeons ability to diagnose, treat, and perform surgery on their patients more accurately by giving them access to real-time data and patient information faster, and more precisely than ever before.
- Augmented technology has made it possible to overlay 3-D anatomical information on top of the patient.
- An AR display that integrates all imaging and patient data and allows doctors to keep their eyes on the patient has the potential to improve quality, safety and reduce cost by decreasing procedure-related complications.
- Training without the risk is the great possibility of using the Augmented Reality. AR technology makes medical training more interactive and helps students to use the theory knowledge in the practical world.
Applications of Augmented Reality in Healthcare are as follows,
1. Augmented Reality in Surgery :
Augmented Reality is transforming the medical operating room. Augmented Reality takes proven concepts like Telemedicine a step further and plays a crucial role in guaranteeing the quality of such consultations. This is especially true in the field of surgery. Rather than merely being about diagnostics, the tools like Proximie use AR to allow complete surgical procedures to be carried out over a distance, with a specialist using the AR tools to guide and collaborate with a colleague in real time.
Touch Surgery : An Immersive Training on Surgery
Augmented Reality is transforming the way junior surgeons are trained in surgery rooms. One such app ‘Touch Surgery’ offers users to practice surgery at any place and at any time. They use an interactive mobile surgical simulator that guides you step-by-step through every part of an operation, and every decision that’s made along the way.
2. Immersive Training Experience for Medical Professionals :
Augmented Reality is boosting the training of medical professionals by creating a highly immersive educational experience. Take an example of Echo Pixel which carries current medical image datasets to enable radiologists, cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists, and interventional neuroradiologist to see patient specific anatomy in an open 3D space.
AR allows Surgeons to do things like project anatomical cross-sections onto a patient, or show 3D visualizations of internal organs, so the surgeon gets a ‘see-through’ view as they plan a procedure. With the development of AR, highly respected consultants across the world can share their expertise with their own eyes using Google Glass.
3. Patients can describe their symptoms better through Augmented Reality :
Patients often struggle when they have to describe their symptoms to their doctors accurately. In ophthalmology, Augmented Reality might be the answer for patient education. Healthcare apps like EyeDecide are empowering patients to play a more proactive role in their care. EyeDecide uses the camera display for simulating the impact of specific conditions on a person’s vision. Using apps like EyeDecide, doctors can show a simulation of the idea of a patient suffering from a particular situation. For instance, the app can demonstrate the impact of Cataract or AMD and thus helping patients understand their symptoms and their actual medical state. MEVIS Surgery App developed by Fraunhofer MEVIS,offers virtual 3D reconstruction of real organs. Surgeons use it to perform liver resections using overlaid images displayed on an iPad that help in locating blood vessels or tumors.
4. Augmented Reality in Rehabilitative Therapy:
AR systems are actively being applied in the post-stroke rehabilitation process. AR in particular can enhance authenticity, interactivity, and practicability in a more natural way by providing virtual objects or scenes from the real world provided by the computer. The system also provides automatic visualization for improved posture and motion control by providing biofeedback in real time during the intervention process. In this process, the patient is more focused on the movement, which is important to controlling erroneous movements and improving brain plasticity with movements. In the image shared above, the patient is exercising on phantom limb for pain relief.
And the list goes on for the use of technology in healthcare.Although current Augmented Reality devices such as Microsoft Hololens, Google Glass, Vuzix, Atheer are yet to provide “perfect” experience, there is no reason to believe that we will not get there soon. The most effective way to get used to this future trend is to start educating ourselves and our children and start using it because development happens when we perform.
Augmented Reality market will meet the smartphone market targeting mass adoption of the technology in the near future. Recently, a market research has been conducted by MRFR which has concluded that the global augmented reality in healthcare market is estimated to exhibit Compound Annual Growth Rate(CAGR) of 23% till 2023. The report also mentions that the global Augmented Reality in healthcare market is expected to reach a revenue valuation of USD 1.32 billion by the end of 2023.
PS: Information above has been partially referred from different sources. However, please accept our thanks for educating us.