You walk in to the doctor’s office – nervous – thinking of the last time you received the injection of your monthly medication, remembering how painful and aggravating it was when the nurse couldn’t find your vein and poked you five different times to insert the IV.
This time, however, something is different. When the nurse shows up he is wearing a special pair of glasses, something you wouldn’t expect to see during such a standard procedure. The device uses advanced technology and shows the nurse a perfect highlighted image of your veins so he can insert the IV in one painless attempt.
Sounds like science fiction right? Wrong. This is a real device and is just one early example of how Augmented Reality (AR) technology is changing the healthcare landscape.
Research shows that up to 40 percent of IV sessions require multiple attempts to locate and access the vein. Augmented reality comes to the rescue in a standard procedure that still causes so much discomfort and dissatisfaction.
Typically, when people think of AR, they imagine glasses and screens that present new layers of content on top of real world images. This traditional model will still play a significant role in the future. However, there’s another aspect to AR that will be important, specifically in the healthcare industry and that is the ability to instantly display relevant information to people who need it most.
Imagine a doctor who is able to view a patient’s medical history displayed over the latest medical scan, and even over the patient himself. We are already beginning to see wearable medical devices that provide critical health information during relevant points of the day.
In the near future, the next time you want to bite into your hamburger, you might get a friendly reminder that your cholesterol level won’t like it.
Overcoming roadblocks with the help of the crowd
We are still facing significant barriers before we will be able to see AR’s full potential in action. Some of these barriers are practical, such as problems with Wi-Fi connectivity and battery life. Several of the barriers are conceptual, but we do see a huge shift in people’s mindsets.
Wearables will play a major role in this. For example, there have been several crowd-sourced campaigns to develop wearables that could sense your heart rate and blood oxygen levels and send you real-time notifications. In another case, there was an abdominal surgery that took place on one side of a city, and in parallel was live-streamed via glasses to a medical school class.
The right information to save lives
Medicine is one of the industries that provides tangible real-world benefits to help people live better lives, and AR can help immensely. When you’re dealing with life and death decisions, immediate access to necessary and relevant information is of the utmost importance.
This is where AR has the most potential to disrupt the industry – putting the information doctors and healthcare providers need in front of their eyes, when they need it. Beyond that, this same experience can be tailored for the needs of patients and everyday users unlocking the potential for a real revolution in health and in the way people think about maintaining their health.
Cegedim Relationship Management today announced that an international pharmaceutical leader is upgrading to the cloud-based customer relationship management solution, Mobile Intelligence™, for their Primary and Specialty sales forces in Spain.
Be mindful of HIPAA. Don't mention information which can identify patients. Don't write anything where a patient could identify themselves.
Share information. If you find a good article, share it! You can re-tweet (RT) blogs or relevant information. Respond and acknowledge mentions—you earned them.
Think easy and simple. Try not to use medical jargon. Patients don't always understand. Don't use a big complicated word when a shorter and simpler one will do. If you need to clarify a complex procedure, link to your blog or health care website.
Know your patient base. Determine who your followers will be, before you start your blog or website. Aim your posts or articles to align to what they would like to hear. Your Twitter account may rank high in search engine results, so you want to ensure your messages are appropriate and relevant.
Be engaging. Work with your doctors, nurses, and researchers to get more evidence-based positive health messages out. Follow, RT posts, and engage them in conversations by replying to their posts.