Microsoft HoloLens is more than just an interesting new toy for immersive gaming and augmented reality. It has a wide range of medical applications, from training medical professionals to improving surgical outcomes by providing a whole-body 3D visual of the patient's body during surgery. The technology behind HoloLens is a form of augmented reality called Mixed Reality, popularly known as "MR". It overlays what a user sees in the real world with digital content, such as 3D models and visual instructions, using a wearable headset such as the HoloLens.
Mixed Reality technology has the potential to improve anatomy and physiology education for students who require three-dimensional knowledge of the human body. The COVID-19 pandemic posed the biggest challenge for medical students who had a dependency on physical cadaver dissection to learn about human anatomy. During the early days of the pandemic, in 2020, Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine used the HoloAnatomy app to teach human anatomy to 185 medical students while they were safe at their homes. In addition, the university conducted a survey to gauge the effectiveness of HoloLens as a teaching aid. Results showed that 84% of students reported that they could effectively learn human anatomy using the remote MR application.
Seeing how anatomy works in the real world can be difficult with 2D visualisation and Mixed Reality has answers to many such problems facing current medical education models. From training students and healthcare professionals on life-saving techniques to offering surgeons real time patient information, it has the potential to transform the way medical education is visualised and taught to a novice or an experienced medical professional.
With increasing access to advanced programming technology and a growing pool of developers, mixed reality is playing an essential role in the health tech revolution, and we see a future where "virtual" cannot be separated from "reality." We invite you to share your thoughts with our team on how MR can bring about a transformation in your field.