Student with laptop sitting on top of the brain

A great number of studies are needed in order to bring reality and statistical power to the solutions that Augmented Reality bring to medicine. Sometimes the smallest things have an amazing importance, and most of the time they are not even taken in account. Some surgeons find a few things ‘uncomfortable’ about using Augmented Reality.

Feel good
Find a HUD that makes you feel like these headphones made this lady feel.

Researchers at the Department of Neurosurgery of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York have taken this matter into their hands, and decided to analyze one very important variable: are surgeons capable of performing surgery while viewing information through a “Heads-Up Display”? Do they have the ability to perform brain surgery while checking other facts via their head mounted devices (or wearable tech)? It’s important to note that this was the first time these surgeons where using a Heads-Up Display (HUD) and the information portrayed in the HUD was navigation information that is safe to assume can help with the performance of the surgery.


Retrospectively, clinical charts of the 79 patients who underwent HUD-assisted surgery in the time-lapse of a year (April 2016-April 2017), were reviewed and in total, 84 pathologies were included. Pathologies went from aneurysms, cerebral tumors (both benign like meningiomas or metastases), lymphoma, cerebral abscesses, etc. Other aspects evaluated of these surgeries were depth, precision, and structures which were all recognized thanks to the software. We’d like to know, in what phases of the procedure did the surgeons use the HUD, and in which phases they didn’t?

Medical team hospital performing operation.

The study mentions, ‘HUD was used during bed/head positioning (50.0%), skin incision (17.3%), craniotomy (23.1%), dural opening (26.9%), cortectomy (13.5%), arachnoid opening (36.5%), and intracranial drilling (13.5%). HUD was deactivated at some point during the surgery in 59.6% of cases’ (we would like to know if one of the surgeons didn’t use the HUD at all). These results are interesting, because it seems like if the surgeons didn’t use the device in order to improve the quality of the surgery, then what reasons did they give for this? This is important information that must be taken in account for all future Augmented Reality studies.

In conclusion, we need to know what physicians think about it, how they feel using it, and why or why not they used it? This vital data will enable future innovations to really succeed!

Do you think there are other small details that need to be taken in account? Do you have your own personal story with Augmented Reality? Please let us know in the comments section!


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