Rachel wrote an article on the future of AR in advance medicine for the G7G20 website. You can read the rest of the article here. The excerpt below.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are gaining significant momentum. While virtual reality (VR) is based in an artificial and virtual world, augmented reality (AR) is a technology based in the physical world with additional layers of information shown in real-time.

Last year, Pokemon Go became a worldwide hit and made AR mainstream to consumers. While gaming has been a popular use of AR, there are much more practical and life changing applications particularly in advancing the medical field through a wide range of use cases which will unlock tremendous productivity.

According to Goldman Sachs, the healthcare market for VR/AR is currently $5.1b by 2025. As health costs continue to rise, AR will play a significant role to help prevent, manage and cure billions of people.

Current AR use cases include:

  • surgery such as minimal invasive surgery
  • training and educating doctors in a more immersive manner
  • diagnosing patient better by overlaying medical record and scans, and
  • detecting cancer through image recognition etc.

Some examples include AccuVeinARnatomy, and Vipaar though we are only on the cusp of breakout ideas and practical applications.

An area of health that’s not often discussed is mental health and illness, depression alone was estimated to cost US$800B in 2010 from the loss of economic output according to the World Bank. By integrating artificial intelligence (AI) with AR, the ability to detect and identify facial expressions, voice tones and physical behaviours can help families and doctors to detect signs of depression and other mental illness in real time. Brain Power, is an interesting startup that helps people with autism to teach themselves life skills and to measure their progress.

In the future, we will live in a world where everyone can to an extent, be their own doctors, which leads to better and more efficient medical care. CliniCloud, an Australian startup made the world’s first stethoscope for home use. Of course, there are cases where a professional is needed to diagnose but instant AR/VR telehealth tools will make the experience of going to a specialist much less awkward and less frustrating. Subscribing medication and treatments through the smartphone, smart glass or a wearable device will also be in a timely manner. Out of medication? Your smart device will automatically sense and send a notification to your local pharmacist or in the not too distant future, printing its own tablets through a 3D printer…

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