Doctors Have Already Used Apple Vision Pro for Surgery

The mixed-reality headset is here with us and has a promising future in the entertainment and enterprise world.

The Apple Vision Pro has been deemed “magical” and “game-changing” by many, and there is a possibility that soon, more industries will embrace Apple’s cutting-edge technology while rocking the VR goggles.

It’s only a matter of time before we get the complete revelation of augmented and virtual reality. For avid gamblers, it would be watching your plane fly in the popular Aviator Demo or playing your favorite casino game in a more realistic environment. For Doctors, it would be performing surgery with the help of a few extra virtual reality screens.

Recently, a medical team in a hospital in the UK utilized the headset for two spinal cord surgeries, showing us yet again the powerful capabilities of Apple’s pricey VR goggles.

The First Vision Pro-Aided Surgery in the UK

In what will go down in the history of the UK as the first of its kind, a scrub nurse put on the $3,500 Apple Vision Pro and helped a surgeon prepare and choose the tools for the operation while keeping track of the whole procedure.

The operation happened at the private Cromwell Hospital in London, where a patient’s spine was being repaired. According to the Daily Mail, this was the first operation in the UK that saw the use of Vision Pro.

The software was installed on the headset to assist with the operation. This type of specialized software comes from companies like the US-based eXeX. The company is said to offer similar AI-driven programs for surgeons.

According to a press release, the program helps nurses and technicians prepare operations by giving them access to the procedural guides and surgical setup, in addition to tracking all stages of an operation.

The software also compares an operation, measuring its success against previous operations by other surgeons.

Syed Aftab, one of the surgeons from Cromwell who utilized the Apple Vision Pro, stated in a press release that working with eXeX to use the device made a huge difference to how they deliver care to their patients.

For him, being the first team in the UK and Europe to use the software was an honor. Syed added that he was excited to watch how the technology develops and the effects it would have on hospitals across Europe.

Suvi Verho, the lead scrub nurse at London Independent Hospital, also praised the headset, saying it mitigates the adverse effects of human error and guesswork, giving you confidence during the operation.

A Diverse Set of Early Adopters

The highly anticipated release of virtual reality goggles in February created a frenzy. Everyone wanted to be part of the action either by testing the capabilities themself or simply understanding how it worked.

Lucky early adopters who snagged the expensive device raved about the “magical” experience of wearing it. Meanwhile, those left out of the loop flocked to social media, desperately seeking glimpses of the experience from those who had used it.

Amid the excitement and “The Simpsons” nailing another prediction of the future with the goggles, no one thought that three days after its release, someone would use the highly anticipated product in an operating room.

Yes, you read that right! Three days after the headset came out, a famous Neurosurgeon from Orland, Dr. Robert Masson, used it during several spine reconstruction operations.

According to Masson, the device would pave the way for a new era of surgery where surgical teams can interact with visual holographic guidance and maps, consequently improving visuospatial and temporal orientation for surgical operations.

Pitching the Vision Pro as an Enterprise Device for Professionals

Apple stated in a recent press release that healthcare developers are utilizing visionOS’s unique capabilities to create new apps that were not possible before. This move would transform areas such as surgical planning, clinical education, behavioral health, and medical imaging, to name a few.

This is good news for professionals because, up until now, most of Apple’s products have been targeted at consumers. Take, for instance, the iPhone’s sleep features or the Apple Watch’s heart-tracking capabilities for personal health awareness.

While new, the forte of tech-heads, and still out of reach for most people, the VisionOS and the Vision Pro headset can benefit health professionals.

What To Expect in the Future

Despite its successful use in aiding surgery, the Vision Pro has yet to be categorized as a medical device. However, it is being trialed by many healthcare organizations around the world. It could revolutionize the medical industry and improve patient care if it succeeds.

Doctors have also used the headset in radiology, therapy, patient monitoring, medical teaching, and tracking early signs of conditions.

The device seems poised to carve out a niche in healthcare for years to come, and we might even see specialized sets explicitly made for medical uses. Recent reports from the tech giant revealed that an app that utilizes 3D models and other tools to help doctors develop surgical plans for hip and knee replacements was in the works.

Once Vision Pro continues mainstreaming, apps like Complete HeartX, Fundamental Surgery, and CollaboratOR 3D will be commonly used among medical professionals.

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