Is mixed reality doctor consultation the future?

 In CraneMorley, Mixed Reality Industry Insight

A new show has debuted on BBC Two and is unlike anything you have never seen before. Your Body Uncovered with Kate Garraway gives viewers a preview of what the future of doctor patient consultations will look like in the near future.

X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are bought to life in the form of a digital twin and used to show exactly what is going on in a patient’s body. Doctors and patient use Microsoft HoloLens 2 and view the digital twin in mixed reality to interact like never before with the state-of-the-art technology. The capabilities go far before just exact replicates. These models provide an x-ray into the human body, they allow users to zoom in to view tissues and fibers of a patient’s lung, and aminations to simulate different type of scenarios.

Dr Stephen Quinn, a gynaecologist at hospitals in the NHS Trust Imperial College had this to say after the latest episode and his experience with the new technology compared to traditional MRI scans. “Using augmented reality just took that to a whole different level. It was fantastic being able to to fully visualise exactly what was going on in the pelvis ahead of the surgery to remove the fibroids.”

*Warning the videos shown below contains graphic medical scenes*

In the two videos above you see how doctor appointments will be like in the future. The first video helps highlight the difference a 2D scan looks compared to a 3D model. Patients can better understand and visualize what doctors mean why the explain medical issues. This helps patients make the most informed decision possible. Anything angle they didn’t show was a mock procedure to demonstrate what will happen in surgery.

The second video shows the affect of Covid-19 has on a patient. The key capabilities to point out are how the technology allows doctors isolate the lung for a separate simplified view and zoom in to show the microscopic view. A simulation to show the full before and after comparison and how the human lungs are affected by the virus.

When will we see this type of mainstream adoption and this type of doctor consultation?

Unlike training and medical education where a one size fits all design approach is fine works, we are still a way to out to create a cost and time efficient method for each custom digital twin. Once we do figure out a way convert x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans into digital twins shown the video we will be ready for widespread use. The good news is the technology already exist and with recent technological advancement it will only be a matter of moments before a converter tool will be ready.

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