Applications and Uses of Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Updated: 5 October 2023

Augmented Reality

5 October 2023

Applications and Uses of Augmented Reality in Healthcare

Technological advances are constantly changing and improving the way we receive healthcare. One of the technologies that is enhancing the treatment we receive is augmented reality (AR) which enhances the real world with computer-generated information or images which has revolutionised many areas of our lives. Augmented reality in healthcare is used for a range of things from providing seamless navigation of a hospital building, to AR headsets being used by surgeons to assist during operations.

Benefits of Using AR in the Healthcare Sector

There are many benefits of using AR to diagnose and treat patients as well as allowing patients to better look after themselves. These benefits include allowing medical professionals to train in a realistic, risk-free setting, improved diagnosis and treatment, better patient understanding of their condition with enhanced consultations, and more accurate procedures thereby reducing errors and patient stress and discomfort.

Important Use and Examples of AR in Healthcare

augmented reality in healthcare

Augmented reality technology has many important uses throughout healthcare sectors across the world. It provides greater accuracy and improves experiences which in turn creates more cost-effective treatments with quicker recovery times.

Augmented Reality Showing Defibrillators Nearby and Saving Lives

In an emergency, every second counts, and having the information you need at your fingertips can literally save lives. Augmented reality in healthcare isn’t just about giving medical professionals better tools to do their work. It can also help the general public. 

One way it can do this is with an app that projects the exact location of the nearest defibrillator is located. This can save valuable time trying to locate the nearest one when it’s needed.

Augmented Reality in Surgery

AR solutions allow surgeons to see patient data such as blood pressure or pre-op scan images,   in real-time on their headset rather than turning to see a monitor or asking someone else to relay the information. During a surgical procedure, every second counts, and having this information available to surgeons in this way can save lives and improve the outcomes of surgical procedures.

Augmented Reality can Help Patients Describe Their Symptoms Better

It can sometimes be difficult for a patient to describe their symptoms, particularly if they aren’t experiencing them at the time of the appointment with their doctor. By using AR glasses, patients can visualise different conditions that help them to more accurately describe their symptoms, helping their doctor understand what they’re experiencing, leading to quicker and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

Virtual Collaboration Between Physicians With AR

One of the most innovative ways augmented reality in healthcare can change the way patients are treated is by using it to allow collaborative surgery. Complex surgeries may no longer mean that the patient or surgeon has to travel. The primary surgeon can be miles away, providing guidance and instruction to a colleague by using AR tools.

AR Apps and Devices for Health Treatment

Augmented reality technology can improve health treatments using apps and devices that patients can use themselves. From apps that provide patients with digital demonstrations of exercises for physiotherapy treatment, to ones that allow users to check their pulse and atrial fibrillation. 

AR Medical Surgery Training

Realistic training environments can be created using AR solutions, for example, allowing students to accompany a consultant on their rounds without having to leave the lecture hall. By wearing an AR headset, the consultant can show students exactly what they see, whether that’s a close-up of a patient’s injury or their records, giving them far more detail than if they’d been just seeing the rounds from a remote location.

Challenges of AR in Healthcare

Whilst this type of technology has many benefits, there are still challenges that need to be faced. New technology can be expensive and some of the more advanced AR solutions are costly which means they aren’t yet available to all providers. Other issues include getting over bureaucracy, resistance to new technology, and regulation/insurance issues.

How can JBH Design help with AR services in Healthcare?

We have over 30 years of experience creating bold, exciting, and solutions for our clients. Our creative skills and passion for technology mean that we’re leading the way in immersive design. We can design augmented reality in healthcare solutions to provide innovative healthcare services. Get in touch with our expert team today to find out how we can help. 


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