Can Augmented Reality help save lives?

Augmented Reality and Medical Imagery?

My fascination with Augmented Reality began when I discovered the differenced between Virtual Reality (VR) and AR. I loved the idea of an immersive environment that does not take you out of reality completely. Overlaying real-world images with other information can help people better understand what they have in front of them.

Where does medicine come into play?

A secret fun fact about me is that I have spent the better part of 4-6 months binge-watching Shonda Rhimes’s 14-season medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s is a medical drama surrounding a group of surgical interns fresh out of med school and chronicles their adventures as Interns, residents and ultimately attendings. My favorite part of the show is when we see the surgeon’s operating (with all cinematic medical inconsistencies intact).  While I haven’t spent much time in a hospital setting, I’ve come to learn that medical imagery and its relative medical specialty Radiology is a huge deal. These professionals already utilize tons of imaging technology already. Most people are familiar with Ultrasounds, MRIs, PET scans and things of the like. After I learned the general ins and outs of ARs, I wondered if it could be applied in the medical field.

Augmented Reality in the Body Cavity?

The most abstract application that I’ve thought of is mostly related to surgery. Surgeons spend the better part of their 20s and early 30s learning about the human body and how they can manually correct problems that may arise from within. General Surgeons almost always know exactly what they’re looking at when they open a person’s abdomen, but what if AR could be there to remind the surgeon what they’re looking at anyway? I’m imagining a device that recognizes an open body cavity and can overlay the names of the internal body parts and even project relevant images over them depending on the scope of the surgery.

I don’t know if I’m reaching for the stars with something that is not relevant or necessary, but I plan to do some light research in AR as it applies to medical imaging and even if there is such a thing.

Regardless, it’s still an exciting thought, and I’ll keep up with this topic in the future. Once I find some proven applications of AR or even VR in the medical field, I’ll create another post that dives a bit deeper into it.

If any of you readers have any insight, I’m always open to learning!