Mixed reality: The new MR in the healthcare sector | HCLTech

Mixed reality: The new MR in the healthcare sector

The healthcare industry is witnessing numerous possibilities and opportunities from mixed reality
6 minutes read
Jaydeep Saha
Jaydeep Saha
Global Reporter, HCLTech
6 minutes read
Mixed reality: The new MR in the healthcare sector

The term MR has always been well-known for medical representatives who are the key communicators between the drug manufacturing organizations and the medical professionals globally.

However, while this definition still exists in the real world, the healthcare industry gradually saw how with the evolution of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality and extended reality (XR), the virtual world can intervene and make impossible tasks come true.

These technologies have brought new possibilities with holographic overlaying of images, 3D models of patient anatomy and data on real-life situations changing the traditional ways of working. These applications are no longer restricted to medical training and diagnostics. They are opening new avenues for the future.

From mapping the human body and quickly fixing medical equipment to critical surgeries, remote consultation, clinical use for mental health treatment and chronic pain management, these technologies are solving complex tasks with improved visualization and accuracy.

Simultaneously, their involvement and applications are also speeding up diagnosis, reducing the risk and rate of infection transmission, increasing access to healthcare facilities and enhancing medical care outcomes.

For example, in 2022, doctors separated conjoined twins using VR technology in Rio Janeiro while the surgery was assisted by doctors operating out of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. It was the first time that surgeons in separate countries wore VR headsets and operated together in a VR room during the 27-hour complicated surgery.

But this was not the first time VR was used in a surgery. In November 2021, a six-month-old boy underwent a complex surgery. Even in this case, Great Ormond Street Hospital presented a ground-breaking new artificial intelligence (AI) platform that helped predict the outcome of life-changing operations in virtual reality.

The immersive environment allowed the doctors, medical assistants and the parents to see from all angles the reconstruction of the baby’s head generated from a CT scan. The technology not only helped parents understand what differences the procedure would make but also encouraged them to suggest potential modifications to the surgeons.

These immersive workspaces are collaborative work environments that convey a sense of real-world presence, using VR, AR, MR and XR. These experiences are delivered using head-mounted displays, offering enhanced opportunities for virtual office, meetings, presentations, product demos and telecommuting, among other applications.

These virtual workplaces facilitate richer, more natural collaboration and knowledge sharing. The adoption of AR-VR technologies has gained enhanced demand and popularity across industries such as healthcare, gaming, entertainment, marketing, e-commerce and retail.

The global AR-VR market is expected to reach $52.05 billion by 2027 from $31.12 billion in 2023, growing at 13.72% CAGR.

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HCLTech in this evolving healthcare industry

Tech giants like HCLTech have already made their mark with the use of headsets like HTC Vive, Meta Oculus and Microsoft HoloLens 2.

For example, a US-based premier biopharmaceutical company wanted to accelerate and optimize daily operational processes at its manufacturing sites and looked forward to an MR platform with AR and VR applications that would provide real-time insights to improve business outcomes.

HCLTech helped the client optimize its operational processes, decision-making and training modules by implementing Dynamics 365 solutions using HoloLens 2 and an MR platform.

These solutions optimized manufacturing operations with enhanced scalability via migration to Microsoft cloud, gave flexibility to accommodate Microsoft updates to HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365, provided remote manufacturing capabilities with zero downtime among other benefits.

HCLTech’s enterprise medical services have also helped healthcare organizations meet their goals through technology solutions — improving patient care experience, optimizing health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs — while maximizing their return on investment.

Moreover, HCLTech has been using these tech solutions in other areas including:

1. Upskilling: HCLTech has been training its employees using HTC Vive headsets for a long time. As expert technicians are increasingly engaged with a new workforce, this AR-powered training solution reduces training costs by up to 50%, minimizes travel costs, saves time and improves retention rates.

2. XR: HCLTech XR solution, part of its award-winning IoTWoRKS™ unit, provides business benefits that include up to 75% retention through XR training. Trainees perform up to 70% better on workplace tests and on-job tasks. HCLTech also joined the XR Startup Program — an initiative between Meta and the MeitY Startup Hub — in July to discover, nurture and accelerate XR technology startups in India.

“Digital engineering is of strategic focus to HCLTech. In the XR Startup Program, HCLTech will mentor and support startups and innovators in emerging technologies, including AR, VR and MR. HCLTech’s involvement in this program reinforces its commitment to nurturing emerging technologies and innovation to drive all-around growth,” said Vijay Guntur, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCLTech.

3. HCLTech Metaverse solution: The HCLTech HCLTech Metaverse solution platform aids in bringing brands and companies into the metaverse. Powered by AR, VR, MR and XR, it creates a new virtual world consumer experience channel for social networking, real estate management and retail, and helps create an intersection of different technologies.

Built on top of HCLTech XRStudio solution, HCLTech Metaverse solution enables users to develop metaverse use cases—for the financial services, retail and consumer packaged goods, hi-tech, manufacturing, and life sciences and healthcare verticals, in real time.

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