May 05, 2016

A London surgeon performed the first-ever live stream of a full surgical operation in virtual reality. A smartphone and a $20 Google Cardboard will get medical students and curious nonprofessionals the full immersive experience.  (Forbes)

Utilizing technology in the healthcare sector has the potential to change millions, even billions, lives. This recent development in surgery is an example of how new technologies can revolutionize the way doctors and patients interact, learn and acquire new knowledge or experience. This first virtual-reality surgical operation was available to anyone via live stream. It therefore enabled thousands of people, from doctors and medical students to curious onlookers, to view the operation. It was accessible via VR headset paired with a smartphone or online feed for those whithout access to VR.

Cancer surgeon Shafi Ahmed said he believed the approach could make healthcare more equitable, improving the training of surgeons worldwide. And with Internet connections getting faster, smartphones getting cheaper, and only a pair of lenses and some cardboard needed to make a virtual reality headset, the costs, he said, paled in comparison to the expense of students traveling abroad to train.  (The Guardian)

While online videos have been around for years, a live VR stream of a full surgical operation is not only a novelty but an interesting new use of technology. Many have noticed VR’s potential to teach not only doctors but mechanics and other high-risk professionals, where experience and risk-free practice are an important part of training. It also shows that new applications for existing technologies have the potential to make an even greater impact. For instance, mobile apps have been around for several years, and we have seen massive changes in the way they are used: from simple practical apps (like checking the weather or your e-mails) to more complex systems, uses and user experiences (like GPS services and ordering products).

Healthcare is an industry of tantamount importance. Working to advance healthcare technology has the potential to improve people’s lives in meaningful ways. At Swenson He, we recognize that working with innovators in the healthcare sector to build cutting-edge digital products has the potential to revolutionize society, which only reinforces our commitment to excellence.

Read the original Forbes article here.
Read the original Guardian article here.

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