Role of Mixed Reality in Healthcare

Updated on Dec 8th, 2023

Role of Mixed Reality in Healthcare

Mixed reality (MR) is gaining popularity and is in tremendous demand in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, this technology provides healthcare practitioners with a hands-free workplace environment, increased freedom in layering and processing data. Mixed reality is allowing healthcare service providers to manage, evaluate, and control healthcare operations more conveniently and effectively, building on the apps of virtual and augmented reality in healthcare.  

You won’t believe that, according to Precedence Research, the worldwide mixed reality healthcare market is predicted to reach USD 1.33 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 47.2 percent. 

But, how exactly is Mixed Reality transforming the healthcare sector?  

Well, today we are going to discuss this! 

But, it will be beneficial if we start with the basics first!

Key Takeaways

  • According to Precedence Research, the worldwide mixed reality healthcare market is predicted to reach USD 1.33 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 47.2 percent.
  • The long-term benefits of mixed reality in the future of healthcare are as it allow for real-time transmission, visual expression, and exact comprehension of 3D spatial information, and also blurs the border between the virtual and physical worlds.

What is Mixed Reality?

Through high-resolution imaging and sensing technology, mixed reality allows users to control and interact with virtual and physical worlds and objects. With its ability to apply digital data directly to a worker’s real-world experience, this technology has the potential to alter the workplace.

Now, let’s check,

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How is Mixed Reality Beneficial for the Healthcare Industry in 2022 & Beyond?

Mixed reality is a new technology that has a lot of potential for the healthcare business in the next few years. The technology is still being used for a variety of applications, including reducing the use of cadavers in healthcare student training courses, patient engagement therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pre-operative visualization of critical diseases like brain tumors using augmented reality scans.

Healthcare teams can use Mixed Reality to see and exchange patient information or data in a more interactive format. They can also benefit from improved imaging. Integrating MR into healthcare will enable a more interactive interchange of patient records and information. It’ll also play a significant role in allowing students to train with MR applications, motivating and encouraging them to learn and discover without a sense of failure. Subjects can be immersed in scenarios requiring complicated reactions, and their responses can be monitored in a virtual world using mixed reality technologies. Furthermore, this technology allows the practitioner to offer a wide spectrum of regulated stimulation and measure and monitor various user responses for better treatment. By modifying the virtual environment and the patient’s reactions, each patient’s therapy needs can be met.

Below are some of the benefits of Mixed Reality for the healthcare industry! So, take a look!

Benefits of Mixed Reality for the Healthcare Industry
MR scanners have the capacity to deliver real-time medical information. It can be crucial in an emergency since timely data can notify clinicians to take immediate action.
Professionals can benefit from MR by seeing 3D pictures in a more natural and comfortable way. The depth may be perceived more fluidly, allowing for a more thorough examination of the details.
Surgery may be streamed live and filmed using MR, providing a fantastic learning opportunity for surgical students. It’s the closest they’ll get to see a genuine surgery without going to the operating room.
MR can be utilized for various functions, including storing and transferring information more efficiently. Critical medical information can be shared seamlessly and in the same format with MR technology. It can reduce reliance on several devices, allowing for more fluid communication. 
Physicians can use microphones and sensors to communicate and cooperate with surgeons all over the world using MR headsets like the HoloLens. They can get help from afar and do better.

As you have seen the benefits of Mixed Reality in the healthcare industry, now let’s talk about,

Use Cases of Mixed Reality in the Healthcare Industry!

Well, the use cases of Mixed Reality in the healthcare industry are:

Cases of Mixed Reality

1. Smart Surgeries

Surgery is a surgical procedure that necessitates extreme accuracy. The success of a medical procedure will be more assured thanks to mixed reality. The solution is a holographic interactive virtual platform that allows surgeons to examine patient information while executing an operation. This technology enables a surgeon to see a 3D image of specific anatomies in order to assure the success of a surgical surgery.

2. Ensures Real-Time Diagnosis

Real-time medical visualization technologies have emerged as a result of the usage of AR technology in healthcare diagnostics and its evolution into mixed reality. The virtual autopsy table, for example, shows a real-time scanned image of the patient’s body. The doctor can modify the image to gain a close-up look of the organ under investigation and make notes. Mixed reality glasses can accomplish similar effects by overlaying digital images over the patient’s body and doing real-time analysis. In some situations, gadgets can also be employed to provide patients with real-time views of their scans. This’ll provide a more accurate picture of their physical condition than two-dimensional scan images.

3. Ensures Better Medical Training

Mixed reality technology, when paired with AI and computer vision, has the potential to assist medical students in working on cadavers that can accurately simulate a living patient. This allows trainees to experience the physical sensations of a real-life surgical procedure as the simulation reacts to their actions. The mixed reality simulation could also be used to visually project appropriate actions in various situations and train learners for a variety of scenarios.

Mixed reality interactive medical knowledge can thus enable the students to physically undertake experimental surgeries without putting their lives in danger. This strategy also assures a higher level of training efficacy than traditional methods, in which students are only observers during surgery.

4. Ensures Easy Remote Assistance

Emergency responders can use mixed reality-based apps to provide immediate assistance for diagnosis and treatment in the outdoors. Through gesture-based controls, the application could allow practitioners to develop modules for clinical assessment and diagnostic procedures. Additionally, because mixed reality glasses can connect to numerous medical devices via Bluetooth, such as ECGs, thermometers, stethoscopes, ultrasound tools, and others, they can serve as a heads-up screen for taking vital signs. Likewise, when professionals require an expert advice from a medical specialist, they can video chat with them using the mixed reality app. It’s easy to see MR-powered telemedicine helping therapies in fields where life-threatening is at stake.

5. Enables Professionals for Image-Guided Surgeries

During operations, mixed reality devices can offer surgeons real-time information on the patient’s health status. They can also monitor real-time images from non-intrusive scanning technologies to assist them in keeping track of the changes in the patient’s body as the process progresses. This allows doctors to keep an eye on the patient’s internal systems, which aren’t always visible through the small wound. The mixed-reality technology can provide a three-dimensional picture of a patient’s physical system and critical statistics like arterial blood pressure and allow surgeons to get remote expert opinions. These devices provide surgeons with unprecedented detail, allowing them to make more informed judgments throughout any type of surgery that is advantageous to the patient. The use of mixed reality in these applications has the potential to improve the success of complicated processes.

6. Easy Consultation

The doctor transmits the patient’s data to the cloud, where the 3D model is recreated based on image data, and the mixed reality image is examined through glasses by a doctor at a remote location. This allows both surgeons to work on the same model at the same time, allowing for cutting or text labeling, color difference, transparency, surgical route labeling, as well as volume, length, and angle measurement.

Mixed reality applications enable real-time engagement and sharing as a consequence. Mixed reality is easy, simple to use, and allows for the storage of vast amounts of data, which benefits not only doctors’ medical capabilities but also distance cooperation efficiency.

7. Surgical Planning with Holograms

Professionals can use the MR application to exhibit patients their actual MRI scans and describe the level of risk in a medical operation in a visual style using virtual surgery Intelligence (VSI). That is not all, but MR apps aid in the lowering of doctor reaction time and surgical accuracy, resulting in better patient satisfaction. For instance, if a patient requires a complex surgery, the doctor can use mixed reality’s VSI capability to provide diagnostic images. This function allows the doctor and the patient to see the same thing at the same time. Doctors can discuss, arrange, and begin their treatment approach in this manner, decreasing patient reaction time.

Moving on, let’s check, 

Design Principles of Mixed Reality 

As MR considered as a combination of AR and VR design, it shares many characteristics of each of these technologies.

Nevertheless, if you’re going to take the leap and design for an MR-based healthcare app, there are some fundamental concepts to keep in mind. So, take a look!

Fundamental Concepts

1. Personal Space

First and foremost, you must respect the user’s personal space. Making objects appear in extreme immediate contact with the user will cause stress and anxiety and less control of their mixed reality. To avoid this, make sure that every object or object that appears in your MR app is no closer than two meters away.

2. Make Designs More Concise and Clearer

UI elements should also be simple and concise, rather than overwhelming and unclear. Only use images and UI components that are completely essential. Great User experience is all about getting things done as soon as reasonably practicable.

3. Use 3D Assets Instead of 2D Assets

In the mixed reality design, minimize to use of any 2D assets. With the exception of AR and VR, MR design must effortlessly integrate with the actual world. 2D objects can’t counter or respond to light, and they can’t cast shadows. Even when building menus for your UI, aim to make them as 3D as possible.

4. Try to Use Tools

In your MR design, make sure to employ optimal modeling and shaders. These effects are required for Microsoft’s Holo toolkit and will enhance the realism of your mixed reality designs.

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Not only does mixed reality allow for real-time transmission, visual expression, and exact comprehension of 3D spatial information, but it also blurs the border between the virtual and physical worlds. Simultaneously, it eliminates remote limits and provides a stable application foundation for healthcare skills growth and advancement. While contemporary virtual and augmented reality apps and proof-of-concept deployments in healthcare show considerable promise, prudence in putting these technologies into full-scale implementation are warranted. This is due to the fact that these apps have a direct impact on a person’s overall fitness and well-being. The long-term benefits of mixed reality in the future of healthcare, on the other hand, will be well justified.

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