In our last post we considered the potential of augmented reality. In this post we’re going to consider the application of it. Technology has always had the power to suddenly turn healthcare on it’s head – the electron microscope, the sequencing of the human genome – even electronic filing, they’ve all had a major impact on how we look after ourselves in one way or another.

AR could soon find itself on this list. In fact it has so many potential uses it could see not just health care professionals utilising it, but anyone with access to the technology (which, given that so many of us have smartphones now, is quite a few).

AR technology is already being developed and implemented in medical procedures to improve accuracy. For instance AR is being used to project where a probe needs to travel next in the body so it can be carried out far quicker and more effectively (see here). This is just the beginning, imagine surgeons being able to have an individuals anatomy projected onto their body during procedures: it would mean that they could see vital information helping ensure their accuracy (research has been carried out regarding this especially in relation to ultrasounds).

However AR could also see everyone being able to learn more about their bodies and what they’re putting into them, not just health care professionals. For instance, imagine if you could log your Cholesterol level and then an AR system could compare foods every time you entered your local supermarket to help you with what food to eat. Or, on an even more extreme level, maybe one day we’ll each have some sort of AR version of an identity bracelet – a quick look up and down and a paramedic could know our allergies, medical history, the lot.

Of course as exciting as these concepts are, they equally seem terrifying (especially if you’ve seen Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’): new technology always throws up plenty of difficult ethical issues. But along with issues also come rewards, it is us who must navigate the moral waters.

To sum up: we’re excited about AR. It’s technology that can change the world we see around us, instead creating something new, bold and different. It has the potential not just to disrupt the everyday but to even change the way we live. We’re excited to see it in healthcare, and we’re excited to use it in advertising.

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