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University of Alabama uses Augmented Reality for Surgery

University of Alabama uses Augmented Reality for Surgery

One of the first surgeries using augmented reality has taken place in Birmingham. A team of surgeons from the University of Alabama performed this surgery using a combination of two technologies, a virtual AR technology VIPAAR and Google Glass. This step could be a signal towards the increased use of augmented reality technology in medical field in the coming future. VIPAAR, the acronym for Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality can be expected to be used more in the future for other surgeries.


The firm VIPAAR is located at Innovation Depot in Birmingham. It is responsible for commercializing the virtual reality technology which has been developed by the University of Alabama and which provides two way interactive video conferencing.

Read Also – Doctors Perform Surgery with Augmented Reality Technology

The Surgery

So, how was the surgery performed? Let’s have a look.

  • Dr. Brent Ponce, orthopedic surgeon of UAB conducted a shoulder replacement surgery on September 12 at UAB Highlands Hospital in Birmingham wearing the Google Glass.
  • Dr. Phani Dantuluri was at his Atlanta office seeing the surgery as well as communicating with Dr. Ponce. Through the VIPAAR technology, Dr. Dantuluri was able to see the same things that Dr. Ponce was seeing in the operation room. The built-in camera of Google Glass transferred the images from the area of surgery.
  • Dr. Ponce, on the other hand could see the surgical instruments and Dr. Dantuluri’s hands in his Google Glass display.

How is collaboration possible?

With VIPAAR, a surgeon who is operating remotely can put his hands in the area marked for surgery and assist his fellow surgeon present in the operation room. Collaboration is thus real-life and real time which is in contrast to a video or Skype call.

Future possibilities

These augmented reality technologies can provide a key step to the growth of practical telemedicine. Less experienced doctors can take assistance from veteran surgeons using these technologies. This can not only be helpful for the doctors but also for the patients. They can get more care with these advanced technologies.

Image Source – glassappsource.com

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Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest writer and not necessarily by augmentedrealitytrends.com

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