Alder Hey, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the UK, has partnered with Microsoft to use the company’s Mixed Reality headset HoloLens and Surface Hubs in meeting rooms to help doctors work together and improve surgical procedures. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital cares for more than 270,000 kids per year.
Currently, a surgeon is required to create a 3D visualization in their mind of a person’s organ being worked on. However, this procedure increases the risk of error.
“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, said Rafael Guerrero, a Cardiac Surgeon at Alder Hey.
“You can display those images on a screen in the operating theater 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,” he added.
Microsoft is partnering with Black Marble, a member of Microsoft’s HoloLens Mixed Reality Partner Program, on the project.
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, reports IoT News.
Data is currently being stored in Azure but the company is looking to integrate the app into Alder Hey’s existing data systems.
“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,” said Robert Hogg, CEO of Black Marble.
“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 cost of the project to the NHS hasn’t been disclosed.