FDA approval of VisAR will enable medical device companies to capitalize on AR market set to be worth $152 billion by 2030, says GlobalData

Investing in augmented reality (AR) is a wise long-term investment for medical device companies, as the global AR market is estimated to be worth $152 billion by 2030 with enterprise AR making up 65% of total revenue, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company points out a recent example of Novarad’s VisAR, a fully immersive 3D augmented reality (AR) system for use in precision intraoperative spine surgery navigation, which has just received FDA approval.

VisAR promotes immersive technologies in the medical device sector by demonstrating precision, efficiency, and economic feasibility while utilizing off-the-shelf AR headset technology.

Ashley Clarke, Medical Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “VisAR’s ability to use image visible CT fiducial markers to triangulate location automatically in less than two minutes, as well as its ability to register both 2D and 3D immersive navigation views holographically, makes this completely wireless system a more viable option to conventional navigation systems in the operating room. This is a great advantage, as some current procedures avoid assisted navigation altogether to reduce setup time and cost.”

Medical imaging systems that use AR give medical professionals a higher degree of accuracy in surgical procedures. For example, images can often be displayed in three dimensions in real-time, as opposed to a 2D monitor, which lacks depth perception. The surgeon can also access critical patient information more quickly with AR-enhanced systems, and can better capture physical differences between patients. Meanwhile, AR visors can also project directly onto the patient, improving visualization in minimally invasive procedures and eliminating the time spent looking between a patient and a monitor—ultimately leading to faster procedures and reduced risk.

Clarke continues: “While there are a multitude of benefits for trained professionals, AR also has huge potential for consumers and non-experts. For example, AR technology has been widely adopted as a useful educational tool for students, and it empowers patients by helping them gain a more thorough understanding of available procedures. AR can even be used to help patients communicate questions or concerns with their doctors when pursuing a diagnosis.”

AR visuals can also provide extra information to professionals performing virtual consultations, a practice becoming more commonplace with the rise of telemedicine post-pandemic and amid shortages in the healthcare workforce. Novarad’s partnership with Microsoft utilizes the HoloLens 2 visor, giving VisAR visibility through a leading tech company and competitive advantage using positively received medical assist hardware.

Clarke adds: “Compatibility with off-the-shelf technology also opens Novarad to a larger distribution network, improving accessibility, reducing costs, and allowing faster adoption of the device in practice.”

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