Rethinking Medical Imaging with AR and 5G

Overview Excellent and personalized care is predicated on the caregiver’s access to information, and 5G and augmented reality are poised to make a valuable contribution to health care connectivity through medical imaging displays.

In a 1960s medical journal, researchers predicted that someday it would be possible to overlay a hologram of medical imaging data directly on to patients. Sixty years later, technology is on the verge of making this vision a reality.

Radiologist and co-founder of MediVis Dr. Christopher Morley shared during the CES 2019 Verizon keynote how augmented reality, computer vision and machine learning could help improve medical outcomes, especially with invasive procedures.

 

Health Care Is About Connectivity

The practice of medicine depends on two forms of connectivity, accordingly to Morley: the connection between the patient and the caregiver, and the connection of the caregiver to information.

The connection between patient and caregiver. With current medical technology, in many cases the practitioner faces away from the patient and toward a screen during a procedure.

“This is a fundamental and very common impairment of the ancient bond between patient and healer,” Morley said.

The connection of caregiver to information. Modern health care has benefited from storing information digitally but, connecting surgeons to that information at critical decision-making points is still a challenge.

“That trove of health care data is unimaginably vast, constantly changing, yet absolutely vital to the delivery of effective care,” Morley said.

“The truth is that many routine procedures done at the bedside and in the operating room are performed the same way they were three decades ago: blindly.”

We are rethinking how medical imaging can be best utilized throughout all action stages of the surgical decision-making process.

Dr. Christopher Morley, Co-Founder
MediVis

The Future of Medical Imaging Use, Supported by Augmented Reality and 5G

Morley cites cumbersome size and setup requirements of traditional surgical navigation systems and restrictive virtual reality headsets as a few of the reasons preoperative imaging, such as CT or MRI scans of the patient, is rarely used to its full potential.

His company, MediVis, aims to change that.

Augmented reality, supported by 5G technology, allows surgeons to view the patient’s scans through a HoloLens display in real time as a 3D object in space or as an overlay on the operating area. As a result, surgeons can be more deliberate and confident in their decisions.

This is a far cry from the 2D monitors and static 3D-printed molds that are the current standard.

“We are rethinking how medical imaging can be best utilized throughout all action stages of the surgical decision-making process,” Morley said.

Looking ahead, Morley said that 5G will enable immersive collaboration between doctors and patients and transform how medical students are trained.

"This is just an inspiring glimpse at what is possible in 5G-connected health care,” Morley said.

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