Despite having some public successes, like the massively popular game Pokemon Go or Zara’s use in the fashion world, many still see augmented reality (AR) as an emerging technology. That might as well be due to how this technology has still a lot of room to grow and a lot of industries to spread to. That, however, is about to change, as more and more businesses are seeing the opportunities AR can bring.
That’s especially true for the healthcare sector, where the AR market is expected to grow up to $1.32 billion by 2023. Such a huge increase is understandable once you see the benefits this technology can offer to healthcare providers.
AR-based innovations can give doctors and surgeons new tools to diagnose, treat, perform surgeries, and educate both themselves and their patients. Depending on how it’s used, AR expands the capabilities of practitioners to conduct their daily tasks, giving a true meaning to the “augmented” part of the AR name.
The following real uses should be enough explanation to justify why more and more healthcare organizations are seeking Java developers to work on their own AR-powered solutions.
1 – AR apps for assistance
One of the main reasons why healthcare providers are using Java development services to come up with their own AR apps is that this technology is perfect to assist common procedures. These apps do so mostly through several visualization techniques that project important information over the patient’s anatomy. This allows doctors to better treat and operate them when it comes the time.
Probably the most widely known case of an AR-power app for assistance are the ones used for vein visualization. Through them, doctors and nurses can quickly spot the veins on a patient’s body, allowing for a quicker and more precise way of extracting blood or injecting vaccines. This comes in handy especially when patients are nervous or can’t stand the idea of having needles around.
Another interesting use of medical assistance is the one used by Vipaar, an AR video support solution that uses Google Glass to bring surgeons together. This app projects the hands of a remote surgeon into the display of the on-site surgeon so they can see the steps they need to follow to perform an operation. This is a fantastic tool for more seasoned doctors to help others with less experience during complicated operations and without the need for the formers to be present.
AR applications are also helpful beyond the physical treatments—they can be used to treat psychological issues as well! In that sense, Empowered Brain is an excellent example. This app uses Google Glass and a combination of gamified and motivational activities to help kids with autism to be understood and engaged with educational tasks.
2 – AR apps for education and training
Java development teams are also using augmented reality to help in education and training for the healthcare sector. This comes in two forms. On one hand, there are AR apps that are used to train medical students and residents in a wide array of aspects. On the other hand, there are apps that can work to better engage with patients, providing a more straightforward mean of communication to explain and clarify diagnoses and treatments.
For instance, Augmented Reality in Human Anatomy Atlas is an app that can be installed on any mobile phone and that recreates a human body or a specific human organ on any flat surface. This is perfect for students to virtually dissect a body and thoroughly learn anatomy wherever they are and without the need for a real body.
There are also apps to practice surgeries, probably one of the most stressful tasks any doctor can face. Traditionally, students have trained with real patients while being tightly supervised or on cadavers. Both of those situations don’t offer the best conditions. A real patient has to agree to the training and the high-risk procedure involves. Cadavers, on the other hand, don’t share the same operating conditions as living bodies.
That’s why apps like the CAE VimedixAR ultrasound simulator are so useful. This app overlays an animated image of the body on a mannequin, which creates the feeling of performing surgery on a living organism. Thus, students can gain the muscle memory to accurately perform all kinds of operations.
Finally, there’s the patient education aspect of healthcare AR apps. By using this technology, doctors can better explain to their patients a lot of things regarding their conditions and treatments, which can come in handy before or after surgeries or when a long treatment is needed.
Some of these apps are highly specific, with an app like EyeDecide as a clear example. With it, a doctor can simulate the impact of eye diseases on a patient’s vision. In that way, patients can see for themselves how a certain condition can impact their vision over time and how it can improve with treatment.
Kapanu is a similar app, only targeted to dentists. With it, these professionals can show their patients how their teeth will look after certain procedures, like alignments, whitenings or even the application of veneers. Its options are adjustable, so the patient can ultimately decide the smile they want to have.
3 – AR apps for wellbeing
Healthcare isn’t just about what happens in the doctor’s office—you have to take care of your health on a daily basis! That’s why a lot of companies are resorting to Java development outsourcing companies to come up with apps that can routinely help to keep you in good health through exercises, tips, and suggestions.
The different apps developed by Saagara are the perfect way to understand this use. They have a varied offering that covers a lot of wellbeing areas. For instance, they have developed a series of AR apps that teach you yoga movements and positions depending on what you want to achieve (from fighting insomnia to losing weight). The company has also developed an app for stress relief that’s based on breathing. They also offer apps for meditation and better sleep, too, all taught through a series of AR elements.
AR can also help in mental wellbeing, especially for people who are dealing with certain phobias. That’s the case for people with arachnophobia, who can use the Augmented Reality Phobia Treatment application to reduce their anxiety when surrounded by spiders and cockroaches, which are digitally added to a specific marker. These kinds of apps have proven to be very effective in dealing with these disorders and come to show the power of AR in all healthcare branches.
4- AR apps for administrative tasks
Finally, here’s a healthcare sector you’d have never thought could benefit from AR – the administration departments of healthcare institutions. By using AR-powered apps, healthcare providers are optimizing the admission, discharge, and transfer tasks. That’s done through more comprehensive and intuitive management of patient records, treatment plans, and additional information required during the care cycle.
Take Augmedix, for example. The company is using Google Glass to provide a technological solution for the documentation needed during the care cycle. Through this service, doctors only have to check their glasses to access important patient information, such as their status, important reminders, and active treatments. What’s more – all the displayed information can be updated in real-time, so physicians have always the latest data at their disposal.
A similar solution can be found in Atheer. This service uses Augmented interactive Reality (AiR) to connect their own smart glasses to any Android-powered device. In such a display, doctors can view work information right in front of their eyes and control it through gestures and voice commands. This way of accessing it is what sets this app apart, as it allows healthcare providers to keep tending to their patients while looking for information that can prove life-saving in the long run.
AR apps are proving to be a great ally for healthcare institutions in a number of ways, even when there’s still room for improvement. From enhancing the projections to be more precise to develop better equipment and hardware that doesn’t get in the way of doctors’ tasks, people working on AR software for the healthcare industry still have a lot of work ahead of them.
However, that doesn’t mean that current efforts aren’t commendable. Student training, administrative assistance, and new ways of approaching regular tasks are turning AR apps into an essential tool for modern healthcare providers. There are undeniable challenges ahead but, by the look of what we are getting right now, it seems like a very promising future for AR in the healthcare industry.