HoloMeeting for Healthcare

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As Mixed Reality grows, it is clear that there are some industries best placed to take advantage of this technological disruption. Alongside construction and AEC industries, the healthcare industry is primed to benefit from HoloLens' real-world potential.

Medical experts worldwide already implement immersive technologies to cure diseases and disabilities and there are several high-profile case studies in existence of how the technology is being used currently in the How can our holographic meeting solution help improve people’s lives?

How does Mixed Reality help?

Hololens, one of the most popular Augmented Reality devices, provides great support for doctors and researchers. As mentioned earlier in our Hololens and Augmented Reality in Healthcare blogpost, it can be of great help for the medical sector. With the aid of holograms laid over the real-world environment, surgeons and other medical experts can access information easily and perform their work more precisely. Hololens for instance allows for remote assistance which can be used in emergency situations to connect to a medical team to receive first instructions.

Many research institutions focus heavily on Mixed Reality to explore its potential in improving people’s lives. Another meaningful field of application is training and education in healthcare. When allowing students to train and study with immersive technologies they are given more realistic impressions of the real body parts they will later be working on.

Also another healthcare related sector, the insurance industry, benefits from Mixed Reality already.

Mixed Reality opens doors to new ways of examination and therefore to clearer results and successful treatments.

As such, it is clear to see how useful Mixed Reality is to the industry already. The Microsoft HoloLens has given unprecedented access to new ways of thinking, seeing and doing.

This last point is critical because with the HoloLens medical experts can receive remote assistance or critical information displayed while he or she is, for instance looking, at a real body that is being treated. The most important advantage however, is the freedom of interacting hands-free with the device. During treatments or operations this characteristic is vital to medical experts.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-hololens-these-surgeons-are-using-ar-to-explore-organsmicrosofts-hololens-how-these/?loc=newsletter_large_thumb_featured&ftag=TRE17cfd61&bhid=24026141385959137969403367785031

Industry needs

In this huge industry, qualified personnel including doctors and medical assistants are strongly needed. Safety, sanitary and technology standards need be of the highest level. Communication is no less important as patients need to express their needs and institutions must be able to communicate smoothly with each other. Also, the tools required for treatments must be provided and topped up whenever needed. It is an industry that cannot afford to stagnate because, quite frankly, innovation saves lives.

Use Cases: Can Mixed Reality improve or even save lives?

Stryker is a world leading healthcare operator that has developed a software allowing surgeons to design operating rooms and prepare them appropriately. With the aid of HoloLens, they are able to see these operating theatres come to life in a 3D environment. Multiple participants can collaborate to find the best solution for each patient and each procedure.

University College London is working on new ways for HoloLens to visualise medical imaging to give patients and treating doctors a better understanding of the results. CT scans, for example, could be visualised as 3D models allowing surgeons for better preparation of operations.

Similar results were archieved at Oslo University Hospital, where researchers developed a way to turn 2D medical images into 3D augmented reality models. The data is gained from CT and MR machines. Focusing on patients with liver cancer and heart conditions, the new technique allowed the surgeons to leave more of the healthy liver tissue behind. This increases the patient’s ability to withstand more treatments during their recovery.

One of our own use cases in insurance, HoloAssessor, is an app developed for Liverpool Victoria Insurance. The third largest car insurer in the UK, referred to as LV, explored the use of HoloAssessor to assess corporate buildings, leave holographic annotations in the physical space, refer to documents without carrying paper and collaborating with remote experts.

https://www.silicon.co.uk/e-innovation/microsoft-hololens-video-future-healthcare-172277

With the aid of Hololens, migraine researcher Dr. Alexandre DaSilva is able to detect and visualise the brain activity of patients . The pain specialist and faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Center for Human Growth and Development connects HoloLens with sensors on the patient's head. When brain activity is detected, it becomes visible to DaSilva as a colourful brain hologram. As migraine patients often can't express what their pain feels like or what part of the head it comes from, this analysis can help determine the root cause of pain. Furthermore, it is easier to treat the patient effectively and with appropriate methods.

How HoloMeeting can help

How does all of this impact HoloMeeting?

First of all, it is clear that there is an established thirst within the medical community for innovation with the industry. Throughout the world, it is clear that there has been a push to explore the potential of HoloLens and Mixed Reality from a wide scope within Medicine and Healthcare.

For HoloMeeting, it is clear then that this could be a part of the process of diagnosis, discussion and direction  With the aid of several features, HoloMeeting enables users to collaborate in real time. The four basic features are 3D audio, gaze tracker, holographic avatars and the shared space. Imagine people sitting at a meeting table sharing documents and 3D files with each other such as an ex-ray or CT scan.

Once they are uploaded to OneDrive and then to the shared space, they are visible for every participant of HoloMeeting. Medical images such as the previous mentioned CT, x-ray or MRI scans can be easily shared and discussed within HoloMeeting. Furthermore, holograms of machines and operation tools can also  be discussed and even placed into the participant’s real environment.

3D audio and gaze tracker are two features that differentiate HoloMeeting from traditional online communication tools. Being able to hear where voices and sounds come from makes it impossible for voices to overlap. The gaze tracker show participants what other users are looking at and make sure everyone is on the same page. It therefore prevents misunderstandings and keeps participants focused.

The feature often referred to as “Holoportation”- feature allows for remote assistance and replaces an expert’s physical presence on site. Using the live video feature it is possible for the person on site (eg. think of a doctor giving a treatment) to get real time assistance from a remote expert in a different hospital. The remote inking function within the video feature allows the expert to place symbols directly into the person’s environment where they will immediately become visible for the person on-the-spot.

Our conclusion

Mixed Reality's future in healthcare is bright: HoloLens allows medical professionals from researchers to surgeons, pharmacists to consultants to  visualise his or her results and additionally collaborate remotely with experts and peers. Hands-free interaction allows for more freedom and therefore makes it possible to be used during performing other actions (like a check-up or even a procedure itself)/

HoloMeeting is able to connect teams of researchers and medical experts for a smooth co-operation. The potential use cases for HoloMeeting are endless: from internal communication to on-site remote assistance or the preparation of operations. It can as well ensure an efficient communication between different hospitals and their staff. All in all, Holomeeting connects professionals and saves valuable time that, in this industry, is needed for the patients.

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