Augmented Reality (AR) Medical Training Is Helping Save Lives

If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you might be aware of today’s technological advancement in various aspects of everyday life. Entertainment, sports, news, business, you name it. But most importantly, it is having a huge impact on various fields of expertise, and one of them is medical training. With high-end technology taking over the generation and changing the course of history, it’s safe to say that we are headed towards a brighter future. One high-end technology in particular that has been helping the medical field is Augmented Reality(AR).

Now you might be asking yourself, how does augmented reality medical training help save lives? To answer this question, we must first understand what AR is. By Google definition, AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Think of virtual reality (VR), but instead of transporting you from the real world to a new or different one, the computer-generated images are transported to the real world thus augmenting your reality. Here’s how AR works in medical training: 

5 Ways AR Medical Training Is Helping Save Lives

  1. Worldwide Accessibility - 70% of the world’s population today have limited access to medical procedures, some do not have access at all. One of the main reasons is that there aren't enough qualified surgeons to do the procedures. With AR, medical practitioners can be connected all over the world. A heart surgeon from Europe can participate in a live heart transplant in Brazil and help guide the doctor in training through the operation without having to fly a thousand miles.

  2.  Lower Risk of Malpractice - AR allows medical practitioners to train without having the risk of committing malpractice with the help of simulations. Simulations have a huge impact in preparation for the real deal. Medical practitioners can perform different medical procedures as many times as possible with a single simulation to really help them prepare for the actual operation.

  3. Enhanced Learning - With AR, medical trainees can actually manipulate the computer-images to have a more detailed learning. If a trainee is trying to learn the inside of the human brain, he or she can actually manipulate the augmented image such as enlarging it and exploring the inner and hard to reach regions of the brain. It offers a rich experience for learning.

  4.  Diagnosis - Medical practitioners will be able to accurately diagnose a patient. This helps ease the process of diagnostics especially when the patient is unable to describe his or her problem. This can also help prevent the risk of wrong medication or surgical procedure due to the wrong diagnosis.

  5. Nurse Care – A growing number of the nursing care procedures are making use of AR. It provides an easy way of helping patients. An example is the use of AccuVein which helps reveal the veins by projecting a handheld scanner over the skin. This helps decrease the number of failed intravenous (IV) attempts.

There are a lot of companies that offer AR medical training in the US. Medcognition, Inc is a company based in San Antonio, Texas that offers PerSim, an affordable, realistic holographic patient simulation for prehospital providers.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to augmented reality-especially in the medical field. And with its incorporation to medical training, it will certainly have a huge impact on the evolution of medical practice.