Undergoing surgery for any reason is an intense and sometimes scary moment in anyone’s life. We comfort ourselves with the trust we place in the highly skilled professionals handling us. Preparing for a surgery requires a combination of a lot of focused attention from medical staff and advanced surgical technology. Now, surgeons are pioneering new medical technology using augmented reality which they hope will revolutionize the way surgeons prepare for and perform surgery. This breakthrough technology will see surgeons use augmented reality for increased precision in critical surgeries.
The 2D Dilemma
The current technology available for surgery preparation involves two-dimensional rendered images of the patient’s operation site. Picture MRI images or an ultrasound. Until now, surgeons have been required to look at these 2D images and mentally recreate a 3D idea of the scan’s contents to plan their path for surgery. The limitations of these 2D renderings can lead to surprises on the operating table and challenges that could be avoided with an advanced understanding of the patient’s anatomy. Enter augmented reality.
An AR Solution for a 3D Problem
The surgeons spearheading this innovative augmented reality solution are Dr. Osamah Choudhry and Dr. Christopher Morley. Dr. Choudhry, a neurosurgeon, and Dr. Morley, a radiologist, were inspired to pursue this project from real scenarios they faced in the operating room, as Dr. Choudhry explains in this video presentation.
The Next Platform reports how critical surgery moments which were complicated by imperfect 2D technology caused the doctors to ask, “Why use 2D imaging if we are solving a 3D problem? And that put Dr. Choudhry and Dr. Morley on the path to the development of SurgicalAR and the use of augmented reality and AI to create very exact 3D holographic images that can help surgeons do their jobs precisely and safely.”
This new medical technology, powered by augmented reality, will take the 2D images currently available to surgeons and render them into 3D images. Surgeons can use these 3D AR renderings to get a more accurate picture of a patient’s internal anatomy before going in for surgery. They are no longer imagining what a specific patient’s operation site looks like in real life. Now, they can explore the 3D rendering and come prepared with a much clearer expectation of their surgical path.
Can Surgeons Use Augmented Reality in Live Surgeries?
The possibilities of this augmented reality medical marvel are very exciting. However, their most effective use is currently for surgery preparation beforehand. The AR images used for preparation will be helpful to consult if needed during surgery just like 2D images might be consulted currently. But in the future, developers hope that the technology will progress to the point where surgeons will be able to consult AR renderings of a patient in real-time during surgery.
Shaping the Future with AR
The augmented reality medical advancement is being rolled out in select VA hospitals across the United States. As doctors and developers explore how to best utilize the new AR technology, it will hopefully be made available to help more surgeons provide critical help to people in need all over the world.
Augmented reality is helping surgeons go inside the human body without surgery. Did you know AR can also let your customers see your products live in their own space before purchasing? Contact The Realizers to see how augmented reality can innovate your marketing to a new level.