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article imageHow augmented reality is improving medical outcomes

By Tim Sandle     Jun 13, 2020 in Health
The pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors are making effective use of digital technology, such as augmented reality. Digital Journal presents three examples of the application, in each case helping to improve patient outcomes.
Augmented reality uses existing reality and physical objects in order to trigger computer-generated enhancements over the top of reality, in real time. In essence, this is a technology that lays computer-generated images over a user's view of the real world and it is helping to alter the way healthcare makes drugs and looks after patients.
Three examples of augmented reality disrupting pharmaceuticals and healthcare elected by Digital Journal are:
Augmented reality and patient outcomes
Augmented reality is being used to help medics to lower patient pain and anxiety levels, without the need for prescribing additional medication. The technology is also being handed to surgeons to help them to visualize the area on which they intend to operate. This is through projecting 3D representations of the patient’s anatomy into the surgeon’s field of view, leading to improved accuracy and patient outcomes.
Augmented reality and pharmaceutical sales
Pharmaceutical sales representatives invariably have to compete for a physician’s time as well as their attention. Within this competitive landscape, getting the message over quickly is important and often the representative is required to make an impact within the 5-minutes or so that is allotted. Through the use of augmented reality, the sales reps can rapidly and effectively demonstrate the benefits of a new product. As an example, this could be guiding the medical professional to visualize a 3D organ through the use of interactive augmented reality to show the effects of a particular product by drawing on digital illustrations as to how (and often why) the specific drug differs from other treatments in the market.
Augmented reality and healthcare manufacturing
Augmented reality is being applied by healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturers to improve operational factors like process efficiency and health and safety across the plant. Both of these factors are also central to machine optimization. This is because the impact of an error can be costly in terms of time, rising to enormously expensive when a product containing a high-value active ingredient is lost. There is also the need to protect pharmaceutical worker.
Where augmented reality is at its most powerful is with helping to ensure that processes run uniformly and precisely. Specifically, applying augmented reality can help to lower human error. This can be achieved by overlaying a digital operating canvas over an operational surface, together with appropriate visual and audio prompts. This application can assist with product consistency. By the engineer being able to undertake this remotely, this substantially speeds up the process and it sometimes obviates the need for the process to be paused or stopped to enable the engineer to get into the area, in cases where the activity can be completed by the engineer remotely.
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