One of the topics that always generates a lot of interest on VRFocus, and for myself personally are any developments that involve virtual reality (VR) – or any form of immersive technology for that matter – in the field of healthcare or medical technology (medtech).
In fact, now that the technology has been readily available for a good couple of years, we’re seeing an uptick in the number of stories and updates specifically related to matters of health. As studies and other experiments begun months ago now begin to come to fruition.
The latest development comes out of the US and is actually realted to augmented reality (AR). A presentation is being made today at the American College of Chest Physicians’ (CHEST) annual meeting that will feature Thorassist – a multi-user AR education and training experience created by the company Augmenteum. Thorassist is a learning tool that will assist in teaching of the anatomy of the lungs using AR to display a digital image reconstructed from real-life imagery. It will also allow medical students to visualise bronchoscopic anatomy procedures a physician would perform.
“Thorassist is an exciting new tool to help educate doctors in the complex field of interventional pulmonology,” explains creator Carla Lamb, M.D. “Knowledge of the anatomy and the experience of procedures is challenging for new specialists to understand and retain. Thorassist provides an environment in which I can help students understand the anatomy and learn procedures using detailed models, at much lower cost than other technologies such as virtual reality.”
“Classroom [the template utilised by Augmenteum in which users use iPads to see and interact with digital 3D models] begins to realize our vision of delivering AR experiences for everyone, everywhere,” Explains David Palacios, Augmenteum’s Founder and Chief Technical Officer. “It shows the tremendous potential of an AR experience shared by many simultaneous users. We will create additional shared multi-user experiences that bring AR to many different applications, from the workplace to home.”
“Thorassist is an outstanding implementation of our Classroom experience,” adds CEO Andrew O’Brien. “It utilizes AR to visualize 3D models to improve end users’ understanding of very complex content and procedures. It leverages Augmenteum’s ability to deliver shared AR experiences for many simultaneous users, as well as provide a “take-home” experience for individuals to use on their own.”
You can find out more about Augmentum’s work on their website. VRFocus will bring you more news about developments in VR, AR and beyond throughout the week.