New technology development has nearly always helped improve healthcare. From 1900 to 2010, the increase in the United States life expectancy at birth grew from age 47.3 to 78.7. While the eradication of many once fatal diseases, along with increased knowledge about better health habits and nutrition are a large part of this change, technological innovations also played a big role.
Some healthcare technology milestones and highlights over the past century include:
- 1945 - Willem J. Kolff, the "Father of Artificial Organs" created the first kidney dialysis machine
- 1967 - Sir Godfrey Hounsfield invented the first CT scanner using x-ray technology
- 1987 - Steven Trokel performed the first laser surgery on a human cornea
- 2017 - 90 percent of doctors used electronic health records to manage patient information.
Research indicates that after gaming and education, the healthcare industry is anticipated to receive the largest investments in virtual and augmented reality (AR) content according to a 2018 Perkins Coie survey.
From enhancing training, to improving access to medical professionals, to providing better treatment, AR is already providing benefits to physicians and their patients. NuEyes smart glasses allow patients with visual impairments to enlarge and magnify images with remote control or voice commands. A team of faculty and students at Virginia Commonwealth University are using AR for medical and research purposes to innovate surgery and surgery training. AR is opening up the field in ways once unimaginable.
Companies are developing AR concepts for healthcare that can:
- Demonstrate. Show difficult to convey concepts in a 3D environment to enhance learning
- Lead. Use digital models and image recognition to place examples on real world equipment
- Deliver. Combine AR and image recognition to deliver an accurate navigation experience
- Optimize. Save time and money for doctors and their patients
AR You Ready?
How can you determine if AR experiences are something that you need to explore to grow your business? Developing AR simply because you think you should be innovative isn't a good enough reason on its own.
Still, AR is happening now, and we can prove it.
You need to ask yourself:
- Will AR make my product or service more effective?
- What would compel my customer base to want to use an AR application to learn about or explore my business offerings?
- How can I make my product intuitive to users and approachable, meaning able to utilize existing devices and platforms?
It's okay if you don't have all the answers. These questions can be tough. That's where it's helpful to work with a partner who understands the issues your industry faces and can help you navigate the world of AR solutions.