The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) healthcare innovation office is eyeing the use of wireless 5G and augmented reality (AR) to enable the superimposition of medical imaging on patients, FedScoop reported Tuesday.
Thomas Osborne, National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation (NCCHI) director, explained that the goal is to provide doctors with an “X-ray vision” of their clients “for safer and more effective procedures."
According to the official, the proposed system, consisting of a cutting-edge AR headset, powerful imaging software and a 5G network, would open more opportunities for the medical world such as enabling professionals to better understand the health of a sick person.
“There’s an opportunity for us to have safer, more effective procedures because we can go in and find the safest path without having to worry about hitting things that you don’t want to hit like vessels and nerves and going to the most precise and efficient way,” explained Osborne.
He also noted that using 5G, rather than the traditional wired or 4G wireless infrastructure, would allow for data transmission and processing at speeds where doctors could make a real-time clinical decision.
“And the more elements you bring into that system, the better you are empowered to come up with the most precise action actionable and personalized care,” added the director.
Despite the 5G AR system remaining a goal for real-world use, Osborne shared that the NCCHI has already performed the “X-ray” vision the technology promises in a laboratory setting.
The “X-ray” effort is just one of many under the center's Project Convergence, which aims at using 5G to improve veterans' healthcare.
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