Microsoft HoloLens is Playing Doctor on Spines

Microsoft has been sort of quiet about the HoloLens since making a big splash back when it was introduced. They’re keen on describing the tech in terms of its potential as a gaming peripheral as well as its utility providing assistance in real-world scenarios.

Despite the minimal pageantry surrounding the HoloLens, it has been making the rounds; demonstrating its usefulness across multiple professions. Surgeons at Duke University have put it through its paces while performing brain surgery, for example.

The device has even proved beneficial in designing and constructing buildings and bridges. Engineers at Cambridge’s Ionnis Brilakis have used the HoloLens to overlay a design onto real world structures and vice-versa. It helped to simplify the inspection process as well.

Now, an augmented reality software developer called Scopis is using Microsoft’s HoloLens to assist in spinal surgeries. They call it the Holographic Navigation Platform. It provides a three-dimensional overlay which is projected onto the patient during surgical procedures.

Doctors can use the platform to track bone screws during the procedure. They’re able to adjust the HUD using gestures to ensure that the most important information is displayed front and center. Thanks to the enhanced precision the platform provides, Scopis’ 3D-positioning tech has the potential to reduce the time it takes to perform lengthy procedures.

Another big plus is that the HNP will help to minimize a patient’s exposure to radiation. Currently, surgeons make use of fluoroscopy to help them see a spine, which continuously blasts the patient with X-rays to get a real-time view during procedures.

The HoloLens isn’t the first headset that has been used to assist in such work. That said, these tests have confirmed that the device isn’t nearly as unwieldy as others have been in the past. The HoloLens still needs work, but it’s getting there. Soon enough, it could prove invaluable in applications across all sorts of professions.

Shawn Gallagher

Shawn Gallagher

Shawn Gallagher has been a gamer his entire life. Other features Shawn's possessed his entire life include being a: geek, nerd, fanboy, artist, writer, editor, and a glutton. Through these powers combined--well...he's no Captain Planet, but he can certainly share his knowledge with others using at least one of those traits.
Shawn Gallagher
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