AR glasses used for the first time to perform bowel cancer surgery


In this constantly emerging world, we use different technologies for specific tasks in our daily life. What transpired is that technology has hollowed out the demand for low-skilled workers, who have been the first ones to be replaced by automation.

Today, technology has changed and has taken healthcare to a different dimension. And, taking the baton further, the medical industry is finding Augmented Reality as the next big thing to revolutionise complex healthcare treatments. Microsoft’s next-generation AR technology — Hololens, has been used for the first time to perform a bowel cancer surgery.

During the operation, Surgeon Shafi Ahmed, communicated live with colleagues in the operation theatre in London, India and the USA. “The Hololens itself really allows us to reshape the way we connect people, we communicate with people, and also to be used in teaching and training,” Ahmed said.


The surgeons can even access a patient’s records and make notes for each other as the operation progresses. They can actually come in and look at the content in full 3D, in real space and discuss with each other. Hololens actually gives the surgeon a life like understanding of a situation which helps to treat the problem easily.

HoloLens is a pair of mixed reality smart glasses developed and manufactured by Microsoft. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first gadgets running the Windows Mixed Reality platform which is integrated with the Windows 10 operating system. Shafi is planning to use this technology to train others globally and conduct virtual operations.

This HoloLens smart glass enables users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them. Mixed Reality brings people, places, and objects from your physical and digital worlds together. This blended environment is a type of canvas, where users create and enjoy a wide range of experiences. It is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Shafi says the pace of change is remarkable. When you put the Hololens on, it feels a bit strange, but actually, within a few minutes, it becomes quite normal. You feel as though you’re just discussing cases with people in the same room. “It feels like a normal hospital practice,” he said.

The incorporation of AR into medical field will certainly help doctors and other medical practitioners in solving complex issues with greater accuracy and more clarity about the problem. Right now, it is limited to bowel cancer surgery but it won’t be a while before all sorts of cancer diagnosis, as well as other kinds of medical ailments, could be treated with AR-based technology.

(With inputs from BBC)


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