Brief Reality: Healthcare Industry Prescribes Innovations Through Augmented Reality

Healthcare Industry Prescribes Innovations Through Augmented Reality

In this Tuesday's Brief Reality report, there's a trio of stories from the healthcare world where augmented reality is helping out with surgical microscopes, asthma treatment, and other diagnostic and treatment tools. There's also something for all of you AR/VR storytellers out there.

Augmented Reality Coming to Surgical Microscopes

Leica Microsystems is introducing new augmented reality imaging for surgical microscopes to medical professionals in attendance at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting, which takes place April 24–26 in Los Angeles.

The new technology, dubbed GLOW800 augmented reality fluorescence, overlays near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging over a full spectrum white light microscope view. While the approach is still pending from regulators, this technique would give surgeons a comprehensive view of the anatomy without switching between microscope views.

"In delicate neurosurgery the outstanding optical quality provided by our microscopes is not always enough. This customer paint point motivated us to develop innovative new ways to augment surgical visualization so that surgeons can operate with as much knowledge and confidence as possible," says Markus Lusser, President Leica Microsystems, in a news release.

App Measures Asthma Treatment with Augmented Reality

Are you having trouble with using your asthma inhaler? If you live in Singapore, there's an augmented reality app for that.

Last week, Mundipharma introduced breatherite, an iPhone app (not available in the US yet) that uses a smartphone's front-facing camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and microphone to evaluate users' inhaler techniques and recommends adjustments. The app also provides medication reminders, lifestyle tips, and air quality information.

breatherite uses AR to determine whether patients are using their asthma inhalers properly. Image by Mundipharma/AppAdvice

"The high rates of smartphone penetration across emerging markets and the processing power of today's mobile devices together with the increasing maturity of augmented reality technology have combined to create a real opportunity to tackle this decades old problem," said Mundipharma CEO Raman Singh in a news release.

TransMedTech Institute Launched to Accelerate Medical Innovation

A partnership of academic, government, and industrial organizations in Canada have founded the TransMedTech Institute at the Sainte-Justine research hospital in Montreal with the intent of developing diagnostic and treatment breakthroughs utilizing real-time augmented reality tools and other technologies.

The institute, funded through a combined $95.6 million from private partners and federal grants, will focus its technological efforts on musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.

"The health and care of the future will be shaped by new technologies. The relevance and impact of the solutions developed at the TransMedTech Institute will be optimized by the multidisciplinary teams working there. Since collaboration is a core component of MEDTEQ's mission, we will be there to help the Institute maximize the benefits of its projects," said Diane Côté, President and CEO of MEDTEQ, one of the project's industrial partners, via a press release.

IBM & Tribeca Soliciting Stories Told with Watson

Through the "Storytellers with Watson" competition, IBM and the Tribeca Film Festival are asking filmmakers and developers to submit their ideas of how they would use the titular artificial intelligence platform in storytelling.

Contestants in the United States can craft submissions for film and video, augmented and virtual reality, web content, and gaming, with guiding categories being development, pre-production, production/post-production, audience experience/interaction, and marking/distribution. While the program is open to the general public, Tribeca will also recruit from its network of media professionals to create stories with Watson.

Since IBM Watson has been a big influence across many industries, we're eager to see how our creative community will apply this technology to inspiring their own creative potential.

Featured among the use cases for Watson on the contest's home page is a cognitive room built for the prestigious Masters golf tournament that can visually recognize visitors and project real-time player and course statistics on the room's walls.

Submissions are due by May 18, 2017 through the contest's online form.

Every Tuesday, Next Reality gives readers a rundown of the augmented and mixed reality news briefs from the preceding week that we didn't cover already. This way, you'll never miss anything of importance in the Next Reality landscape, and will always know what's going on with new augmented and mixed reality tech and applications. You can browse previous Brief Reality reports, too, if you'd like.

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Cover image via Leica Microsystems

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