On March 11, 2024, Santiago, Chile became the stage for a ground breaking event in medical technology. Dr. Alberto Rodriguez accomplished a worldfirst by carrying out an abdominal operation using augmented reality (AR). The cutting edge technique employed Meta’s Quest 3 XR headset and the MARS system from Levita Magnetics, signalling a major jump in how surgeries are done.

Boosting Surgery Accuracy with AR

Dr. Rodriguez isn’t just a surgeon. He’s also the head honcho at Levita Magnetics company from Silicon Valley that makes medical gear. He had a big hand in bringing this AR tech to life. Its goal is to make surgery less harsh by cutting down on the need to slice open patients while giving doctors a better look at what they’re working on. This not only ups their game when it comes to being precise but also amps up how well patients bounce back, trimming down healing time, pain, and marks left after surgery.

  • Fewer Cuts: Slicing into patients less means.
  • Reduced Surgery Time: Operations are quicker, saving precious time.
  • Less Cuts Needed: Surgeries require fewer cuts.
  • Less Pain and Scarring: There’s not as much pain after surgery or scarring.
  • Faster Recovery:  Patients heal more quickly with less invasive methods.

AR Technology in the Operating Room

The MARS system combines topnotch machinery with strong magnets to help with surgeries. Dr. Rodriguez says this system is like giving surgeons “two extra hands,” making it easier for them to use surgical tools very precisely. Adding AR technology to this setup helps even more by making it easier for surgeons to see what they’re doing. It lets them get really into the surgery and stay on track.

This new way of doing surgery with AR could lead to many improvements in medical treatments down the line. The tech doesn’t just help surgeons perform complicated tasks. It also puts helpful digital information right where they can see it, which helps a lot when they need to make quick, smart choices during procedures during operations.

The Future of Medical Training and Global Collaboration

After this discovery, Dr. Rodriguez is planning a clinical trial to dive deeper into the benefits of AR in surgery. He’ll look at how ergonomic and precise it can be. His goal is to prove with real data that assisted surgeries work well.

Plus, AR tech is changing how future surgeons learn. Osso VR has released an app for Apple’s Vision Pro system called Osso Health. This app mimics different types of surgery for students to practise on, making training feel real and handson. It’s a big step forward for teaching surgery because it makes learning complex procedures easier and better.

Implications for Global Surgical Practices

Augmented Reality (AR) isn’t just pushing the boundaries of local medical methods, but it also opens doors for worldwide medical teamwork. With AR, live surgeries can be shown to experts all over the planet who can give help on the spot. This is super useful when you’ve got a tricky case that needs several pros’ thoughts.

Dr. Rodriguez believes that one day AR will be everywhere in operation theatres, changing how we do surgery into something better, less cutting involved, and more about working together.

Challenges and Considerations

Even though AR in surgery has plenty of perks, there are some hurdles and things to mull over,

  • Relying too much on technology:  Doctors could end up less sharp at classic operations if they lean too hard on AR.
  • Gotta have tech that doesn’t quit: AR gear has gotta work right all the time. even a small glitch during an op can lead to serious trouble.
  • There are serious dangers to patient safety.
  • Surgeons need to be trained well so they can use new tech the right way. It should make surgery easier, not harder.

We have some big issues to deal with, but augmented reality could really change surgery for the better. If we’re careful about how we use it and keep checking on it, AR could improve how we do surgeries all over the world. It means a fresh start for medical help and looking after patients. If you want more info on augmented reality in health care, check out our health tech news area.

 

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