AR and VR were once used for gaming only, but now, it is even used in the medical field for acquiring better results. The technology behind the game has severe applications in the orthopedic industry.
FREMONT, CA: It is only a matter of time before AR becomes a critical and useful tool in the surgery through holographic displays like Microsoft's Hololens or Google's Magic Leap. AR integrates the real world with the virtual world with display techniques. It helps the digital images or pre-operative planning information to be combined with the surgeon's view of the real world. This method gives surgeons an X-ray vision without using an X-ray machine, permitting them to visualize parts of the patient's anatomy, which are not exposed during a surgical procedure typically.
AR can enhance the surgeon's view of unexposed bones and other tissues during the surgery while utilizing only less invasive techniques. These visualization devices allow the surgeon to view pre-operatively determined locations of incisions and real-time medical images with actual and proper spatial alignment during the surgery.
Now, the researchers have begun to use the same technology to obtain intimate anatomic views in the OR, like the ones used in the virtual reality of computers. Structures once only saw invasively or through 2D pictures like the ligaments or bones become 3D images projected onto patients.
One of the innovations of virtual reality technology is powerful enough for OR simulators to become a practical option. The latest devices have a touch-feedback system that aids and lets the practicing surgeons not just see and hear their virtual patients, but to feel the sensation of pressing a scalpel against muscle or drilling into bone as well. These techniques make it possible for the education or training of young surgeons.
The authentic way of surgical teaching comprises of the students first merely observing a live surgery and then gradually processing to assisting the experienced surgeons. Developing such virtual environments for education and training purposes will accelerate and supplement existing approaches used to educate and train medical doctors. Using computer-based simulations allows for medical students to be prepared to serve the surgical needs of the general public.
Beyond virtual reality and augmented reality is the 3D printers. 3D printers are known as the future of orthopedic technology. 3D printers substantially minimize the cost of the prosthesis, permitting the parts to be produced in a fully customized way, just like how the patient needs it. This type of production brings significant flexibility and accuracy, minimizing the risks and making recovery faster and better for the patient. Another use of 3D printers is bioprinting, with the manufacture of tissues, small body parts, and even organs.