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How Virtual Reality is Changing the Medical Industry Forever

August 09
16:47 2016

You probably have seen quite a bit of the term augmented reality (AR) being used in headlines lately. With the success of the AR mobile game, Pokemon Go– the topic of AR and other AR apps has been heavily covered by popular media outlets.

So what is AR anyways? Augmented Reality is defined as “an enhanced image or environment as viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlaying computer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment.” To put it in more basic terms, it’s when computer-generated elements meet your real world surroundings.

Pokemon Go has shown that AR has yet to reach its full potential for entertainment apps and games, but what about the other AR apps that serve a more practical purpose?

Well, the Irish-based 3D4Medical has jumped on the AR bandwagon with a medical training app. The project is known as Project Esper and the company plans to release the beta version in about six months.

Users will be able to learn about the human body in ways they have never done before. It offers a hands-on approach with a 3D visual of a “patient.” With gesture controlled investigations, the user will be able to select different organs and learn how they work.

Again, the app won’t be available until early 2017 and the company hasn’t revealed what type of hardware users will need since it’s still in its infancy.

“We’re at the early stages of development, working on our gestural interface and also on a triage of the functions we’d like to release for our beta product,” said Irene Walsh, head of design at 3D4Medical.

There seems to be big things at work at the medical company. 3D4Medical announced a major expansion with 70 new open positions, including medical writers, 3D graphic artists and software developers, in January.

Well, the new staff seems to be busy with Project Esper. “Our excellent 3D graphics team are constantly refining the model accuracy and prepping for this hyper-realistic user experience,” said Walsh. She said the goal is to create an “augmented atlas” for users to learn in an interactive way.

3D4Medical is not new to developing effective training platforms. The company won the Apple Design Award for its Complete Anatomy app, which is one of the most downloaded apps in 82 countries in the medical category on the App Store. The app offers guided lessons from a former Stanford University professor. These instructions are also paired with 3D visuals and tools.

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