Role of Mixed Reality in Evolving Healthcare Industry
Modern technologies like virtual, augmented, and mixed realities are not empty buzzwords but genuinely provide valid solutions to multiple industries. For example, the healthcare sector is immensely evolved with the innovation in these spatial computing technologies. It helps improve medical education, read up on critical diseases, perform remote surgeries, accelerate the recovery process in physical therapy, etc. – bringing a real-time difference in medicine.
Mixed reality (MR) enables physicians to visualize complex medical data, manage and evaluate healthcare operations and collect critical imaging information before and during medical procedures. Moreover, MR technology allows healthcare practitioners to see human anatomy displayed directly on a patient’s body using HoloLens – a pair of MR smart glasses.
MR makes healthcare operations convenient and effective.
According to Precedence Research report, “healthcare’s global mixed reality market size is expected to reach $1.33 billion by 2027 with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 47.2%.”
Let’s see how mixed reality solutions are transforming the healthcare industry.
But before that, let’s have a sneak peek into the basics.
Defining Mixed Reality:
Mixed reality refers to the point where sensing technology and high-resolution imaging are used to combine virtual ecosystems with the actual environment. MR delivers a hybrid experience where digital and physical objects co-exist in real-time. It allows users to interact and control physical and virtual worlds and things.
Mixed reality can alter everything from workplace to operation theaters, etc., by applying digital information directly to the real-world experience.
Read more about the Role of Machine learning in Healthcare Industry
Now, let’s check
Design Principles of MR:
Mixed reality is a point where AR and VR designs combine, sharing several characteristics of each other as part of spatial computing technology.
However, there are some fundamental concepts to remember if you are going to design an MR-based healthcare application.
User’s personal space
First thing first, give each object appropriate space to function. User’s personal space in the MR environment directly affects the control of their mixed reality. So, release the tension and make users less stressed by minimizing their extreme immediate contact with other objects in the app. Make sure all objects in your MR healthcare app is at least 2 meters away from each other.
Concise and clear UI
Make the MR application design as concise, neat, and clear as possible. Avoid creating unclear and overwhelming objects. Only use the essential UI components and images. For an enhanced user experience, develop a reasonably practicable user interface with precision and clarity.
Focus on 3D assets
Since MR belongs to spatial computing, you will be dealing with 3D spatial information. Therefore, minimize the use of 2D assets in medical apps. You need to develop a design that seamlessly integrates and interacts with the actual world, and 2D objects cannot support it. For example, 2D design assets cannot cast shadows because they cannot respond to light. And 3D modeling of human anatomy demands 3D assets in the target app.
Optimal modeling tools
Develop different types of visual effects with the help of appropriate tools. Design modeling and shaders enhance the MR designs. You can add more realism to your apps with the help of Microsoft’s mixed reality toolkit (MRKT) and achieve excellent visuals identical to Unity’s standard shader.
Moving forward, let’s check,
Benefits of MR for healthcare business:
Mixed reality as a high-tech solution holds excellent potential for the medicine and the healthcare industry. The next few years are supposed to experience massive breakthroughs, although MR is still being used in various applications.
- Immersive experiences in medical education
- Augmented reality scans for brain tumors
- Pre-operative visualization of critical diseases
- Patient engagement therapy for PTSD
Healthcare practitioners can see and exchange digital information in a more interactive format to study and evaluate patients’ conditions in real-time. Improved imaging used in MR applications also plays a significant role in medical training courses.
Furthermore, regulated stimulation helps measure, manage and monitor different user responses for improved treatment. Medical specialists can leverage custom therapies for patients by creating and modifying the virtual ecosystem and how patients respond in that environment.
Below are some of the commonly observed advantages of MR.
- MR scanners deliver real-time medical information of patients
- 3D imaging allows more systematic and detailed examinations
- Live streaming of surgical procedures for students’ learning out of operation room
- MR technology for secure access and sharing of critical medical information
- Healthcare practitioners can virtually present at one place for collaborative work
In brief, we have following use cases of mixed reality in healthcare sector.
- Smart surgeries
- Real-time diagnosis
- Easy consultation
- Easy remote assistance
- Better medical training
- Enabling image-guided surgeries
- Surgical planning with holograms
Removing the borders between physical and virtual is one thing; mixed reality solutions bring real-time transmission, 3D data visualization, and exact comprehension of spatial information. In addition, it provides a foundation for custom software development for healthcare industry advancements and eliminates the remote limits of medical procedures. With the full-scale implementation of mixed reality, we can expect a broad spectrum of its benefits in the future of healthcare.
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