Surgeons at Asklepios Hospital located in Hamburg-Barmbek, Germany have used augmented reality to perform a liver surgery successfully. The surgeons used the augmented reality app through an iPad. This experiment shows that AR technology has far more potential than being a mode of just advertising and entertainment, though it is not termed as a major medical breakthrough. For long, augmented reality technology was restricted to retail, marketing, advertising and entertainment fields as it has the aptitude to engage customers in an interactive and dynamic way.
The augmented reality app used in the surgery allowed the liver to be both filled and superimposed over the physical world and in real time. Through virtual models, surgeons could locate and remove tumors growing on the patient’s liver. This augmented reality app allowed the doctors to navigate the innards of the patient to effectively and efficiently complete the surgery. An augmented reality app for such magnitude is a major blessing for the medical community.
The German surgeons praised this augmented reality app for its accuracy as well as its ability to provide a surgical plan. Besides, they mentioned that this app was easy to interact with and helped them to reduce the required surgery timing. For the patient, this is also likely to translate into faster recovery time. However, it is not yet official whether or not the surgeons will continue to use this augmented reality app for the future surgeries. According to the industry experts, they are likely to do so for surgeries that will need significant levels of accuracy.
Though an experiment of this magnitude was an innovative approach, augmented reality is nothing new to the field of medical science. Physicians have been using the AR technology for long to provide interactive information to the patients. However, the use of augmented reality technology was seen very limited in surgeries as most of the surgical procedures are complicated in nature. In case of the surgery at Asklepios Hospital, the AR experiment served as a major benefit for the surgeons and not as a significant distraction.
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