Microsoft’s HoloLens potential as a teaching aid in the healthcare and medical professions has been highlighted quite a few times by now. But a new partnership between Microsoft and Stryker will see the holographic headset be used in hospitals in an unexpected way: to design operating rooms.
The value proposition of augmented or mixed reality is that you can view digital objects imposed over our physical reality, giving us new ways of seeing and experimenting with the world around us. This obviously works very well for design cases and it’s exactly this aspect that’s being leveraged by Stryker, in designing operating rooms.
In its blog post, Microsoft details how each team of surgeons has different needs that need to be taken into account when hospitals design and build their operating theaters. As such, surgeons, administrators and designers need to come together and agree on the overall project, in what is oftentimes a lengthy and possibly costly process.
But HoloLens is revolutionizing this process, by offering staff access to design work, and acting like a common digital space, where each member of the team can easily change things around and experiment with a virtual operating room. Of course, the headset’s integration of communication services like Skype, also means that surgeons, administrators and architects no longer need to be in the same room at the same time, communication is easier, and overall costs are kept lower than with traditional means.
Microsoft and Stryker believe this work may end up saving not only money and effort, but perhaps also lives if surgeons are more efficient and their working environment suits their needs better.