First Microsoft HoloLens Systems Approved by FDA for Surgical Use
The potential for augmented reality in the medical industry is one of the trending topics currently in the medical world. There are certain applications that have already been explored such as the use of AR in medical training or in pre-operative procedures. The Microsoft HoloLens system is one of the best prospects currently when it comes to AR and medical applications. One of the latest developments in this area has been FDA’s 510(k) clearance of the Novarad’s OpenSight Augmented Reality System which utilizes a Microsoft HoloLens AR headset in pre-operative surgical planning.
This system will represent the first AR medical use for the Microsoft HoloLens headset. The system projects interactive 2D, 3D or 4D images on the patient’s body during the surgical operation thereby enabling the clinicians to get the 3D patient images taken from previous scans projected onto the physical patient in real time. Novarad’s OpenInsight Augmented Reality System is a pre-operative planning tool which gives clinicians sophisticated digital tools that assist in the more precise planning for surgeries by highlighting and overlaying specific information on the body parts. The AR application also provides clinicians with real-time information on the parts of the body that will need to be avoided during the operation.
This is the first technology of its kind using HoloLens to be given a green light by the FDA and many medical professionals and even medical students will find it useful. The system does not just overlay information but also makes it possible for the user to interact with the imaging data and visualize the data overlay in a very anatomically precise manner on the patient it is being used on.
It is a revolutionary concept that will in the future be part of mainstream use as augmented and virtual reality technologies gain greater currency in the medical field. Already, there is a strong trend towards the development of augmented reality and virtual reality applications for the health industry. Many of these have been designed for educational purposes or for the planning for operative procedures. However, some go further and offer clinicians more elaborate resources for surgeries.
The Microsoft HoloLens, along with Google Glass are already widely deployed relaying scans and information during surgery. The ability to simultaneously overlay the digital information onto the patient’s body and allow clinicians to see previous 3D scans adds a good deal of precision and convenience during the surgery, minimizing errors and ensuring the operation goes as smoothly as possible. Often, this information overlay is accompanied with highlights and notes that the clinicians will find highly useful. With the use of augmented reality, it is even possible to activate a remote clinician who can offer guidance as well as notes on the surgical process.
Augmented Reality Trends in the Medical Industry
There have been other use-cases for augmented reality technology in the medical field. Their usage is expected to enhance surgical planning while reducing operative times. For clinicians and students, augmented reality technology that overlays digital information on the patient in real time also improves their understanding of anatomical relationships. By pairing pre-operative imaging with AR, Novarad’s OpenSight Augmented Reality System helps clinicians improve their outcomes in terms of speed, precision and safety during the medical procedures.