Microsoft has introduced the HoloLens, the first completely self-contained, holographic computer that allows its users to interact with holograms in their physical environment with a virtual reality headset with high-definition lenses that comes with spatial recognition. HoloLens enables users to experience 3D holographic images as though they are a part of their environment.
Microsoft is expecting that HoloLens will be utilized in data analysis, medical imaging, design, standard computing, and gaming. Microsoft also hopes that the device will inspire new augmented reality experiences. Here’s how HoloLens could change the face of healthcare:
Improved Patient Care through Better Visual Guides and Demos
It is not uncommon for patients, particularly older citizens or those with special needs, to have a difficult time understanding a specific medical device or technology. With HoloLens, patients would have better visuals to best understand how technologies being used in their care and treatment work.
Creating a Virtual Classroom for Medical Education
HoloLens could be used in medical education by allowing students to practice on hologram modeling of human organs and body. There would no longer be a need for cadavers to practice on. Instead, they could perform the same procedures or examine the same areas on a holographic human body.
President at Case Western Reserve University, Barbara Snyder, was part of a panel discussion titled “Caregiver of Tomorrow: Health and Technology Forum.” On the topic of HoloLens, Snyder explained that the technology is a far more engaging way to educate students compared to working with cadavers and traditional textbooks.
“It’s a much more compelling experience that will allow them to learn much more and retain it longer,” Snyder said.
To take medical education a step further, HoloLens could help immerse the students in disaster scenarios where they have to attend to patients quickly and calmly. Future doctors could learn how to assess medical treatments by connecting to the patient via a virtual environment.
Bridging the Gap between Patient and Doctor
HoloLens could create environments that patients feel safe in thus giving the doctor a better understanding of their patient’s conditions. This is especially applicable in cases where the patient has a difficult time expressing themselves which is often the case with those with psychiatric disorders. By understanding the patient through the virtual world they create, doctors would be in a better position to assess and diagnose the patient and determine the appropriate therapy.
With virtual reality technology already revolutionizing the healthcare sector, it would come as no surprise that HoloLens will soon find brilliant applications of the technology in healthcare.