Introduction: Healthcare and AR
The healthcare sector is one of the fastest-moving areas in technology, with new innovations and breakthroughs being made on an almost daily basis. Many companies are working on new ways to use technology to make life easier for doctors and patients alike. Augmented reality is one of these technologies, which can be used for everything from training to diagnosis.
In this article we look at:
- What augmented reality is (AR)
- How augmented reality is currently being used in healthcare
- Why it’s important for you to get involved with augmented reality in the healthcare sector
Augmented Reality in Healthcare 2022
Augmented reality is an emerging technology that has the potential to transform healthcare. According to a report by Markets and Markets, the global healthcare and life sciences sectors spent $6 billion on AR/VR applications in 2018. By 2022, 50% of all healthcare interactions will be driven by AI, according to another study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. These numbers are expected to continue growing as augmented reality becomes more ubiquitous across both industries by 2022.
This trend will also have a major impact on your business because it means you can reach more customers with your marketing campaigns and sales materials—but only if you’re prepared for what’s ahead.
What is the potential for AR/MR in healthcare?
Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) are emerging technologies that have the potential to transform healthcare. The use of AR/VR could make healthcare more accessible, personalised and efficient.
The World Health Organization has identified a number of areas where AR/VR could be used in medicine including: training, treatment, rehabilitation and surgery; remote surgery; clinical simulation; patient education; patient-provider communication; diagnostic imaging.
In healthcare, augmented reality can be used for a host of applications. Here are some examples:
- Medical education: Medical students can virtually dissect a cadaver and watch its organs in real time as they move through the body. Students can also learn how to perform an actual surgery by watching a 3-D rendering of it on their smartphones.
- Medical treatment: Augmented reality has been used to show patients what a surgery would look like before they undergo it. Patients can also use augmented reality glasses to see what’s inside their bodies without having to undergo invasive medical procedures.
- Digital imaging: Doctors can use augmented reality glasses for digital imaging during surgeries or other procedures. This technology allows them to look inside the body without having to cut open patients’ flesh or expose them to radiation from x-rays or MRIs.
- Infectious disease control: By using an AR headset, doctors can visualize where an infectious disease outbreak is happening — whether it’s a virus like Ebola or an antibiotic resistance bacteria like MRSA — and respond quickly with containment measures that include vaccinations and isolation protocols.
How will AR/VR, AI and IoT change the pharmaceutical landscape?
Augmented reality and virtual reality will help to improve communication between healthcare providers and patients. Using AR/VR technology, doctors can better explain medical procedures, instruct patients on how to use their devices or track their progress.
Augmented reality will also enable physicians to monitor treatments remotely, which can improve patient outcomes. If a patient is having trouble following the doctor’s instructions for treatment, for example, augmented reality could be used allow them to listen in on what the physician is saying without being present at all (or even opening their eyes).
In addition to these benefits of using AR/VR in healthcare settings, they can also improve patient care through improved communications between doctors and nurses; by allowing nurses access more easily view patients’ vitals while they’re working with other patients; by allowing them access more easily view information about medications prescribed by physicians; etc.
3 Companies using Augmented Reality in Healthcare
Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the most exciting technologies out there. It’s popular among companies because it provides an immersive experience for its users. Here are three companies doing just that:
MindMaze is a Swiss startup that uses augmented reality to help people with brain injuries regain their motor function. The company’s technology enables patients to wear a headset and their brain activity is monitored by sensors. The data is then used to create 3D models of neural networks, which are then mapped onto robotic avatars. This enables patients to control the movement of the avatars using their brain waves and movements. MindMaze has already helped thousands of patients recover from strokes and other types of brain injuries.
Augmedix uses artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate etc., using Google Glass-like headsets equipped with cameras and microphones. These data points are then fed into an AI algorithm that can detect abnormalities and send alerts to doctors who can respond immediately if needed before they even leave their office! This isn’t just useful for monitoring patients but also helps doctors become more efficient by automating some of their workflows such as ordering tests or even dictating notes instead of typing them out on paper!
Pear Therapeutics is another startup that uses AR in healthcare with its “infusion therapy” product called Sugar. Pear discovers, develops, and delivers clinically validated software to provide better outcomes for patients, smarter engagement and tracking tools for clinicians, and cost-effective solutions for payers.
The report predicts that by 2022, augmented reality will have a major impact on all sectors of healthcare.
The report predicts that by 2022, augmented reality will have a major impact on all sectors of healthcare. It will be used to:
- Deliver medical devices and patient care more efficiently
- Enhance clinical trials, drug discovery and sales/marketing efforts
- Train clinicians and patients to improve outcomes in surgery, patient compliance and home healthcare scenarios. It can also aid in telemedicine (remote surgery) as well as hospital administration and supply chain management.
It can also help with claims management by providing better documentation for claims processing to improve reimbursements from payers such as Medicare or Medicaid. The healthcare sector has been one of the most active industries when it comes to implementing AR technologies into their work.
The full impact that Augmented Reality will have to the healthcare industry is not fully known but we do know that there is great potential power that can be harnessed that offers a new opportunity to improve healthcare for everyone.
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