Augmented Reality is a technology that adds value to the real world by overlaying and displaying real-time digital information such as clinical data and media, such as videos, sound and 3D models, via the camera view of your smartphone, tablet, PC or via wearable tech such as a viewfinder or smart glasses. In the future, augmented reality could be a built-in feature in your own glasses or digital contact lens.
Augmented reality differs from virtual reality (VR) in that the latter creates a 3D world completely detaching the user from reality. There are two aspects in which AR is unique – users do not lose touch with reality and it puts information into eyesight of the user. These distinctive features enable AR to become a driving force in the future of medicine.
Some sample applications of Augmented Reality include:
- Medical & Nursing Education & Training: Mobile and Tablet based AR based AR can bring say, a text book to life. By hovering your mobile over a ‘target’ paragraph, picture or diagram in the book, students can evoke an interactive 3D rendering of an anatomical structure, an explanatory video, animation clip, or practically any URL to play – enhancing student engagement and thus, the learning. Augmented graphics superimposed over mannequins provide insights not possible earlier.
- AR in Diagnostic Imaging: Visualizing radiological data such as DICOM data from MRI/CT scans reconstructed into virtual 3D makes a powerful diagnostic tool, which aids physicians and surgeons to make an accurate diagnosis and plan treatment. A doctor can wear Augmented Reality headset and actually “see” the pathology superimposed inside the patient from all sides.
- Surgical Planning and Navigation: The use of AR is being in Surgery and Surgical Navigation has gained momentum recently because of it becoming less expensive and more widely available. Augmented reality can create an accurate 3-dimensional reconstructions of the pathology, for example a tumor. The complex image reconstructing technology basically empowers surgeons with x-ray views – without any radiation exposure, in real time.
- Pharma: With the help of AR, patients can hover over a medicine barcode and actually see how the drug works in 3D in front of their eyes instead of just reading descriptions on the bottle. Lab workers can monitor experiments with augmented reality equipment. In factories, workers could start working without hands on trainings as the device would tell them what to do, and how to do it.
Developing compelling AR applications requires a blend of different talents – medical domain, visual designers and design thinkers, 3D graphic artists, 360 degree video producers and software engineers and programmers. The team at Immertive brings together:
- Healthcare Domain Knowledge: Our in-house team of medical & medical education experts collaborating with our panel of external specialty-wise subject matter experts help in creating templates that can superimpose clinical data as augmented information overlays.
- 3D Art: Immertive’s expert 3D graphics team creates compelling 3D animated or 3D interactive content for AR overlays.
- Design Thinking Approach: Our design team covers all aspects of Visual Design including Information design, Interactivity design, Navigation design, Interface design, Identity design and Graphic design. The UX in AR has to interact with the real world imagery being seen through the device and our design experts create unique interfaces that make the AR experience intuitive adding value.
- Software Development: Our software engineers and programmers are adept at using Unity and Unreal Engine to build 3D immersive interactive AR experiences.
- Technology: We build AR applications for Android (AR Core) and Apple (AR Kit). The team also has experience with using Vuforia, Google Tango and developing for the Microsoft HoloLens.