The possibilities for using augmented reality in a medical setting are endless. The latest concept in development is around using AR technology for heart ultrasounds.
The University of Maryland’s School of Medicine and Insitute for Advanced Computer Studies is working with Maryland Shock Trauma Center to develop an AR product for heart ultrasounds using the Microsoft HoloLens.
Using the HoloLens medical staff can view ultrasound data in their field of vision without taking their eyes of the patient. The HoloLens overlays ultrasound images over the patient which helps aid insertion of a tube without the medical team having to keep glancing away.
Researchers claim it could improve procedures that typically involve split attention between the patient and a monitor which displays the ultrasound data. The display essentially floats over the patient allowing the medical staff to keep their eyes on the patient.
The AR ultrasound is being developed by Sarah Murthi, an associate professor at the university and trauma surgeon at the Shock Trauma Center, and Amitabh Varshney, director of the ‘Augmentarium‘, an AR lab within the university’s Advanced Computer Studies department.
AR is still in its infancy and is so far primarily focused on the gaming industry. Microsoft’s HoloLens department is working with different industries that can benefit from AR, including healthcare.
We’ve already seen app companies developing AR based software to medical education so it’s likely to expect more AR innovation coming to healthcare in the near future.