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Augmented Reality in Healthcare



Augmented Reality in Healthcare

When it comes to the top indicators in a country’s quality of living, healthcare provision is one of the key elements in the mix. There’s no denying the fact that a healthy population makes a country more productive and happier. To respond to the growing need to improve the quality of life, the healthcare sector must improve in all aspects, including its technological arm. 

Perhaps some of the most innovative advancements in the field of healthcare and medicine are its augmented reality applications. In augmented reality (AR), people are given the opportunity to overlay digital information (cameras, sensors, displays, etc.) onto the real world, for us to get a better perception of what’s happening around us. It can even aid in detecting mental illnesses like depression by reading facial expressions, physical gestures, and voice tones.

If there’s one thing augmented reality definitely has, it’s its potential. There are so many augmented reality applications today, but there’s a lot more to discover in the coming years. Today, augmented reality applications are forecasted to have a revenue opportunity of $1.2B in 2020 and $5.1B in 2025. The number is expected to grow even more as augmented reality takes a bigger role in the field of healthcare and medicine. 


Benefits of Augmented Reality Applications in the Health Sector

Healthcare is one of the fields that has embraced augmented reality with open arms. It’s continuously trying to use the technology in health education, improving medical diagnosis, making surgery less invasive, and decreasing the detection of medical errors by minimizing the number of medical mistakes

Here are some ways augmented reality has helped improve the health sector:

  • Education

Augmented reality is improving the way medical students are taught in schools and universities. Now, students will be able to learn about specific diseases in detail—understanding not just the manifestations of diseases, but also how it works within the body. 

With augmented reality, students can see projections of the body’s inner workings so they could see its internal structures up close and personal. Augmented reality also projects even the anatomical structure and physiological mechanisms inside the body, making it easier for students to understand the process through easy visualization. 

The technology of augmented reality in education is perhaps one of the best benefits of augmented reality applications in healthcare. It helps students have a deeper and more detailed understanding of how the body works not just through drawings, animations, and videos, but also through accurate projections that rival how it looks like in reality. 


  • Medical Diagnosis

Augmented reality also positively affects medical diagnosis in the health sector. Usually, one of the issues when it comes to diagnosis is the ability of patients to convey and accurately describe their symptoms to their physicians. Because of this, doctors will have a difficult time when it comes to pinpointing the exact root of the problem. The more appropriate and faster the diagnosis is determined, the easier the treatment will pass. The duration of stay at the hospitals and homes is directly connected with the right diagnosis. 

With the help of augmented reality, doctors can either (a) see for themselves the problem with the help of high-tech visualization, or (b) let their patients see (through visual experience) the differences in disease symptoms and manifestations and tell which one applies to them.  

Some of the augmented reality applications that help physicians make a better diagnosis include EyeDecide (visual stimulation), AccuVein (vein scanner), and SentiAR (3D visualization of anatomy).  


  • Surgery

There’s no denying that surgery is risky, regardless if it’s a minor or major operation. Of course, surgeons will need all the help they can get when it comes to surgery, as most of the time, planned procedures do not go as expected. With the help of augmented reality, surgeons can go over and study their patients’ anatomy and input their CT scans and MRI data to make simulations before actually going through with the surgery.

Augmented reality also helps surgeons during emergency procedures. They’ll be able to access medical records and papers on their AR screens quickly instead of going through paperwork for hours. It not only saves time and resources; it also makes healthcare delivery faster and more effective. 


  • Decrease Detection of Medical Mistakes

By decreasing detection, we do not mean that you hide your mistakes and be an obstacle in effective healthcare delivery. You decrease detection by minimizing the number of errors when it comes to procedures, diagnosis, and other aspects of healthcare. 

We should take into mind that all aspects of healthcare are connected. An issue with the diagnosis can lead to an even bigger problem in the future. A simple mistake in surgery can cost someone their life. By making these processes more effective, you limit the number of mistakes, leading to a better health environment and a more holistic medical field. 

Associate Editor