HoloLens will provide 3D visualisations to surgeons in UK hospital

Surgeons working in a UK hospital want to use HoloLens to provide important 3D visualisations during critical operations.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital cares for more than 270,000 kids per year. By partnering with Microsoft, the hospital is looking to use the company’s AR headset and Surface Hubs for its daily tasks.

During a surgery today, a surgeon is required to create a 3D visualisation in their mind of a person’s organ being worked on. This increases the risk of error.

Rafael Guerrero, a Cardiac Surgeon at Alder Hey, said:

“Imaging a patient’s heart from the inside and from the outside is absolutely essential. I have to visualize that 3D view in my head in order to do this operation.

You can display those images on a screen in the operating theatre sometimes, but it’s not easily accessible; and I can’t leave in the middle of an operation to go get more information about my patient. In many cases, the heart has already stopped in order for us to operate.

Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality will, in the future, enable me to have a patient’s scans in front of me while I’m doing the operation. If I can use technology to obtain that information, to see those images in front of me, that helps me tremendously and improves the outcome for my patient.”

Microsoft is teaming up with Black Marble, a member of Microsoft's HoloLens Mixed Reality Partner Program, on the project.

Robert Hogg, Chief Executive of Black Marble, comments:

“HoloLens has powerful visualization capabilities. Coupled with the Surface Hub, which is excellent for transforming collaborative experiences, we saw a range of opportunities for creating engaging user experiences.

The common factor for both these devices is that they are delivered on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which enabled us to write the application once, and still take advantage of the best features of both devices.”

The app created by Black Marble makes use of InkCanvas and InkToolbar. This allows multiple people to collaborate on the Surface Hub and then upload to HoloLens ahead of an operation.

Data is currently being stored in Azure but the company is looking to integrate the app into Alder Hey’s existing data systems.

Iain Hennessey, Clinical Director of Innovation at Alder Hey, said:

“It’s incredibly important that we embrace technology to get our best people out there and do extraordinary things.

At the end of the day, the health of children is more important than anything else.”

The cost of the project to the NHS has not been disclosed.

What are your thoughts on the HoloLens project? Let us know in the comments.

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