Surgical AR/VR Poised For Widespread Adoption With Apple Vision Pro Launch

• written by Krist Duro
Surgical AR/VR Poised For Widespread Adoption With Apple Vision Pro Launch

Over a dozen emerging XR innovations are expected to influence the medical industry in the near to long term

Apple recently made its foray into the extended reality (XR) market with the introduction of its spatial computing product, Vision Pro. Early adopters have responded positively to the launch, and the product's impact on the widespread adoption of XR hardware and software is evident, with over 600 applications now available on the Vision OS marketplace. Leading up to the launch, Apple signalled its intention to expand the Vision Pro stack into specialized areas such as surgical care and aerospace controls in the coming months. Interestingly, surgical augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is anticipated to be a highly impactful innovation in the near term with widespread adoption, as predicted by Technology Foresights, a proprietary framework developed by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Within the healthcare sector, the Technology Foresights platform monitors over a dozen emerging XR innovations that are expected to influence the industry in the near to long term. These innovations encompass various advancements, such as holographic surgical displays, AR/VR applications for optometry, AR/VR integration with surgical robots, and more remote advancements like real-time 3D anatomical modelling and 4D computed tomography.

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Sourabh Nyalkalkar, Practice Head of Innovation Products at GlobalData, comments:

The basic premise of surgical AR/VR innovation revolves around integrating XR technologies into surgical procedures. However, the intricate nature of surgical care demands more than just superimposing computer-generated images onto a surgeon's view. The goal extends to providing real-time visual guidance and enhanced awareness during surgery. The notable increase in innovation activity is driven by a diverse range of players, including hardware manufacturers, chip makers, healthcare providers, software developers, and more. The growing competition in this area is illustrated by over 40 start-ups actively working on creative surgical AR/VR solutions, as identified by the Technology Foresights platform.

A closer look at the start-up landscape within the surgical AR/VR domain on Technology Foresights reveals a vibrant ecosystem characterized by robust innovation and competitive dynamics. Noteworthy innovators in this space include companies like Synaptive, XACT Robotics, and CMR Surgical, which specialize in surgical robots offering enhanced visualization capabilities tailored for precision surgeries.

Conversely, start-ups such as Theator and Heartflow are concentrating on software-based solutions. These solutions aim to provide surgical intelligence to hospitals and surgeons, along with improved visualization for cardiovascular diagnostics, respectively. Additionally, start-ups in this sector are crafting solutions tailored to specific surgical procedures. For example, Omniscient, based in Australia, focuses on neurosurgery planning, while Rom Technologies and Mirus are developing solutions for hip implants and orthopaedic surgeries. Lumicell, on the other hand, specializes in advanced breast cancer imaging.

Nyalkalkar concludes:

The intricate nature of surgical XR technology is clearly reflected in the startup scene. As Apple's Vision Pro sparks widespread adoption of XR products, it will be intriguing to observe how the companies developing solutions for surgical care adapt to Apple's ecosystem. Also, it will be interesting to see whether Apple, known for its effective tech-driven acquisitions in new domains (like the recent additions of Mira Labs in 2023 and Curious AI in 2021), will leverage this strategy to establish its presence in the field of surgical care.

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• written by Perjan Duro

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• written by Perjan Duro

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Hello, Perjan and Krist here, and we are the creative minds steering Apps For Apple Vision Pro.