Who would have thought that one day, virtual reality would be applied to surgical procedures? A term often associated with cutting-edge e-commerce logistics and state-of-the-art 3D animation technology, has become a medical marvel.

Harnessing Visualisation Technology

Canadian Journal of Cardiology recently published a report on a successful cardiac surgery conducted by surgeons at the Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland. Combining a plethora of tools including Google Glass, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and an x-ray technology called coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA), doctors successfully concluded a 49-hour surgery on a man, to curb the multiplier effect on his cells. When arteries become narrow, it is usually difficult for surgeons to exercise precision and manoeuvre through them, which is when multi-dimensional visualisation of the PCI becomes crucial.

COMPLEMENTARY VISUALISATION TECHNOLOGY 

Before augmented reality was introduced in the medical world, PCI was an unpredictable procedure that was challenging to execute and whose results were uncertain. CTA uses x-ray technology to help doctors through a process of non-invasive visualisation. This is complemented by Google Glass, which mounts like spectacles and aids in accuracy whilst targeting specific arteries. These devices can improve the comfort levels of operators as well as their efficiency.

Surgeons need to be meticulously trained to handle equipment and manage procedures. Although expensive, this technology is hugely advantageous in high-risk surgeries. It is here to stay, and it will eventually proliferate into other spheres of medicine.

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