For years now, augmented reality has posted a host of intriguing possibilities to those savvy enough to recognize them. Mapping digital representations onto the real-world and encouraging more user interaction with the two has a ton of potential, not least in an industry such as health care.
Here are just a few ways AR has the potential to impact the medical profession.
- Enhanced Training
One drawback of current digital medical training techniques is the graphical restrictions placed upon them by the technology. Even a good 3D engine isn’t perfect, and when you’re performing open heart surgery on a real-life patient, perfect is an absolute must. Thankfully, improved AR technology has the potential to allow medical students and surgeons in training to interact and train with more complexly and realistically-realized 3D representations of the human body.
- Projecting Onto Real Patients
In addition to enhanced training, some AR is helping doctors treat patients. One such example, AccuVein, allows doctors to project a map of the body’s veins onto a patient’s skin. If you have ever had your blood drawn before, you can probably guess why. Even a good phlebotomist can sometimes have a hard time finding veins when they’re faint or weak, which can mean multiple sticks with a needle while they try and get things right. A program such as AccuVein can thus help those drawing blood or setting up IVs “hit their target” the first time.
- Connect Patients and Healthcare Workers
One of the most fast-evolving tech stories of our time is bound to be the advancement of “the Internet of Things,” which represents a push for more scannable, Internet-connectable real-world materials. The implications for the healthcare industry are staggering. If a medical tool experiences problems, the source of the error can be found more easily by plugging it into the Internet. If a new part or whole machine is needed, it can be acquired quicker and more efficiently than ever. There is even the potential to scan patients’ bodies as part of a diagnostic routine, checking signs of illness or injury against an online database.
In short, the future of AR in the healthcare industry has never been brighter.