WE/AR Blog Augmented Reality Technologies in Healthcare Industry
Dark Mode

Augmented Reality Technologies in Healthcare Industry

https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/3f6ebb04b1bb4bc76a92688ba7134813?s=100&d=mm&r=g
By Daria Fedko
9 min read
16.01.2023
Last updated on 20.01.2023 at 16:08
woman with ar glasses

AR in healthcare captured many areas from research to the development of new products and services. Who would have thought before that the surgeon will be able to review the patient’s state during the procedure wearing the AR glasses? The innovations in the augmented reality healthcare industry aren’t stopping there, and the future promises to bring only more creative and useful developments.

What is AR in Healthcare?

Augmented reality in healthcare as much as in any other industry integrates digitalized content in a real life. It can be done for different purposes, like entertainment, research, collaboration, and organization. AR provides the benefit of making work easier for doctors and medical institutions and they, in return, are working more efficiently in helping people improve their health.

 

AR in Healthcare Market Predictions

Augmented reality in the healthcare market has a promising future and the numbers show that. Experts predict that the global VR and AR in the healthcare market will show annual growth of 19.65% during 2022-2027. Even though it is slightly less than last year, the industry still shows stable growth. The companies that are developing AR solutions for the healthcare market are getting increased investments, especially in North America.

ar in healthcare statistics

A key trend that is triggering augmented reality in healthcare market growth is the visualisation of data. Medical institutions are in need of increasing patient care and improving clinical operations. That’s what augmented reality creates for healthcare – AR glasses allow doing computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of data by showing stereoscopic projections during the surgery and giving the accuracy that is crucial for doctors. The same technology is applied during dentistry inspections and vein visualisation.  

How Augmented Reality is Used in Healthcare

Augmented reality changed the way patient assessments are held with the help of technology. Doctors use AR to overlook patients’ conditions during surgery or to make detailed inspections during monthly medical checks.

Below we will explain what is AR in healthcare and how is augmented reality used in healthcare.

Medical Training

Education and training matter in the healthcare industry more than anywhere else. Students have to study textbooks, but also learn to understand real human bodies and how to find when something is wrong with them. The augmented reality technology helps to transport the students into real-like surgical situations or make them see rare conditions any number of times until they master the treatment technique.

There is a separate educational platform called FundamentalVR that helps surgeons to learn how to proceed with clinical procedures. The platform provides an opportunity to create a highly-effective and descriptive training for medical students and specialists.

Surgery Preparation

AR glasses made surgeries easier and less stressful by helping medical specialists to see through the human body and identify the place of an issue as well as an x-ray. For instance, the solution Augmedics solves a clinical need we never realised existed and makes surgeries easier for the surgeons and safer for the patients with a comfortable AR headset. As the company states, the solution proved to be effective in 99% of cases.

Advanced Diagnostics

When almost all things are digital, augmented reality in the healthcare industry had the most difficulty to move online. For instance, diagnostics and medical assessment can hardly be done without human attention. However, Orcha Health wants to argue by providing a highly effective and convenient AR solution that allows for assessment, diagnosis, and prescription for patients using it. All that is needed is an app.

Treatment and Therapy

Another way that augmented reality and healthcare connect is in the actual treatments and medical therapy. For instance, there is a way for medical specialists to help in doing injections by identifying the exact location of veins. The solution is called AccuVein — the device that can help to see the vein paths through the human body by simply placing it above the skin.

Doctor-Patient Communication

Medicine is hard to learn and understand, especially if you are only a patient trying to get the treatment notes from your doctor. Google Lens is a great example of how AR is improving communication between doctors and patients. For example, by wearing the technological solution Google Lens, young mothers could learn to breastfeed in a comfortable environment and on their own terms.

AR in healthcare
Doctor & Patient Communication

Healthy Lifestyle

There are augmented reality apps for healthcare that can have a long-term influence on people’s lives and allow them to live healthy lifestyles without external help. Let’s take Dorothy – an application for people with memory problems that reminds them about their daily tasks and needs, like taking pills or going for a walk in fresh air.

Augmented vs. Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Both augmented and virtual reality in the healthcare market have a positive impact on the industry, but each technology is different. Virtual reality has a profound influence on education by immersing the students in the three-dimensional stimulations repeating the situation of surgery or the emergency room. Augmented reality has an immediate effect on the industry by improving the work of medical professionals and giving them tools to use in daily work. 

However, they are different, they are both equally useful for the industry.

Virtual Reality Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Provides a safe place for education

Can cause motion sickness

Ability to customize stimulations to your liking

May be expensive

Allows control over the surrounding events and your actions

Rarely go over the experimental stage

Provides detailed 3D visualisation

Even though it’s close to real situations, it can never replace life practice

Augmented Reality Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Easy access to the apps with smartphones or tablets

AR headsets can be expensive and used only in the specific situations

Can add the detailed information layer on the real-life

May be expensive

Applications are easy to use and give the enhanced experience

 

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Healthcare Industry

There are more pros to using AR in healthcare, and we already described an extensive list of benefits that are shown by AR in the healthcare industry. Below we give even more.

  1. Realistic Experience. Probably the most effective benefit of AR is giving the most real-life experience the technology can ever provide. 
  2. Cost-effectiveness. Even though augmented technology may seem expensive, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the money. The application of AR saves money on a long ride.
  3. Remote collaboration. Research, development of the treatment or observing a difficult case is much easier when every person on the team has complete access to the same data with a history of changes and comments.
  4. AR navigation. The least obvious benefit of AR is providing better navigation through the hospital rooms and sections. When you are not in your local small doctor cabinet, you can hardly understand where is the right section to go and what floor is where your dentist located. AR helps both medical workers and patients to find their way around the hospital property.

Increased patient awareness. Augmented reality can educate people on how to take care of their health and understand the complicated terms they hear at their doctor appointments. It is important that technology moves education outside the hospital’s walls.

The Top Augmented Reality App in Medicine

Augmented reality healthcare apps are an essential part of AR in medicine. They are changing the way doctors communicate between themselves and patients, navigate their way through meetings and surgeries and check patients’ health and diagnose them. Nowadays, you can find AR apps not only on the developer’s website but right in the store app of your mobile phone.

We have gathered some augmented reality examples in healthcare below.

EyeDecide

Let’s take one of the augmented reality healthcare applications EyeDecide. Available on iOS devices, the app allows seeing the eye anatomy and registering common conditions connected to sight problems. It shows what are the symptoms and the proven ways to treat them. EyeDecide is created to be used by people and connects them to specialists.

DoctorMole

An AR application that educates people of the dangerous signs of cancer, DoctorMole, has been available on Android for a long time. Now, you can download it on iOS. To use an app, you just need to hover your phone above the skin and see if you have any dangerous moles that can be signs of early cancer. 

 

 

MEVIS Surgery App

One of the augmented reality use cases in healthcare MEVIS Surgery is designed to be used by doctors during surgical procedures. It helps them to advance their skills of attention to detail and focus. The application helps to avoid dangerous operations by guiding surgeons to indicate liver tumours without damaging critical vessels within the organ.

AR in surgery

Anatomy 4D

Learning about the structure of the human body from books can be exhausting and quite ineffective, so Anatomy 4D found a way to change that. This AR app shows the human body on real people or makes pictures in the book alive through the lens of technology and even makes questions for you to test and challenge your knowledge.

Future Potential of Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Judging by the predicted market growth and the development of AR applications in healthcare, the industry is showing great potential to move forward. The future of augmented reality in healthcare is showing the further development of apps aimed to help both doctors and patients. Medical institutions will be able to move more processes in the digital format and visualize more complex data.

WE/AR studio can help you develop just the right solution for the healthcare industry. We can take your project from the earliest stage of idea development and proceed with it to the going live and analysing stage.

Just contact us at hello@wear-studio.com, and we will get your XR ideas flowing!