Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR respectively) are long lost brothers; both of them only started developing properly in recent years but until now VR has always been the big brother that has firmly stolen the attention of the mass market. However, AR is coming into its own and has made friends with companies like Touch Surgery, that are harnessing and planning to implement it in real life scenarios that are going to save lives.
Touch Surgery made its name with the surgical simulation mobile application it released in 2013 that tries to solve one of the biggest problems in surgery. That is, when someone is conducting a procedure in the operating room, they can either be performing the procedure for the first time or they haven’t done it for a while and they’re refreshing themselves, both on patients that are alive and need care. The app helps surgeons memorise the steps to a plethora of procedures and Touch Surgery has seen incredible successes with the software according to CEO Jean Nehme:
“We’ve got about 1.5 million registered users and of those about 40% are medical…I guess the success of the app is a combination of things right. We’re very lucky to work with great surgeons, and people in the surgical space and being receptive to this type of technology right. They have encouraged us, supported us and been involved in building procedures…Then we’re very lucky to have a great team, we’ve been able to take a concept of surgery and with mainly not being surgeons, you know, build the graphics and the detail and the procedures and the simulations and the systems and the data and mobile component to it to get it working and operating.”
At CES 2017 Touch Surgery showed off the next step of its work; the company is bringing its surgical simulation application to AR with the vision that one day a surgeon will perform an entire operation wearing an AR headset that tells him what steps to take in the correct order.