hologramsImagine performing surgery on a patient using a headset that incorporates “mixed reality” holograms into the procedure. Well this may be something you are able to do in the near future! Microsoft has developed a device called the Hololens, and they are currently developing a holographic anatomy education program with Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University to integrate it into the classroom setting where future doctors are learning.

Justin Barad, a surgeon, spent some time familiarizing himself with the device (in a non-surgical setting). He tested the tracking and projectional aspects of the device and was able to gain insight as to its potential and current limitations. Some of the potentials include helping surgeons monitor patient related information by allowing them to control what they see and when they want to see it, plus being able to “see through” a patient by seeing their bones via reconstructed CT scans in the Hololens. On the other hand, the limitations include how lighting conditions affect the holographic projects and the visor not being able to protect the surgeon from splashing bodily fluids that occur during the surgical procedure. Dr. Barad also noted the limited area where the holograms are visible, but felt that would not be a drawback from a medical application perspective.