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14 March 2024

Apple Vision Pro Unlocks Health and Wellness Benefits for Doctors and Patients

By Bobby Carlton
Apple Vision Pro in healthcare

Developers are turning to visionOS and the Apple Vision Pro to create cutting-edge health and wellness spatial computing experiences tailored to enhance user well-being both within clinical environments and in the comfort of their homes.

For years now, medical institutions have been using Apple’s frameworks and products to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.

Through the use of Apple products, such as the iPad, medical institutions have been able to lower the cost and improve the efficiency of their medical procedures. They have also been able to create more effective and personalized care for their patients.

With the introduction of Apple’s Vision Pro, developers now have the opportunity to create experiences that can improve the lives of people, whether they’re at home or in a clinic. Through its ability to blend digital and physical worlds, Vision Pro enables them to create immersive and complex spatial experiences.

With the capabilities of visionOS, developers can now create new apps that have never been possible before. These new apps can be used in various areas, such as training and clinical education.

Apple Vision Pro Health

In an official Apple blog post, Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations said, “We’re thrilled to see the incredible apps that developers across the healthcare community are bringing to Apple Vision Pro.” Adding, “The imagination and drive of our developers, combined with the technical capabilities of visionOS, are igniting new possibilities for physicians, frontline workers, and even students, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come.”

Surgical Planning and Education

Over a million people in the US undergo hip or knee replacement surgery each year. With the help of the Mako Smart Robotic System, surgeons can perform more effective and faster procedures. It can also help decrease the risk of pain and improve the quality of care for their patients.

Stryker’s new app, myMako, is designed to help surgeons enhance their experience outside of the operating room using Apple’s iPhone and Vision Pro. It allows them to review and visualize the plans of their patients.

“The myMako app for Apple Vision Pro allows surgeons the ability to access intricate surgical plan details and insights at their fingertips in a 3D-native, intuitive, and dynamic way. This level of insight — anytime, anywhere — was previously not possible,” said Robert Cohen, Stryker’s president of Digital, Robotics, and Enabling Technologies.

The introduction of Apple Vision Pro and the ability to use its platform in combination with other cutting-edge technologies such as the Mako Smart Robotics System can help surgeons improve the efficiency and experience of their operations. This is in line with Stryker’s mission to make medical care better.

Boston Children’s Hospital

To help healthcare workers improve their skills and confidence, Boston Children’s Hospital has created a virtual environment that is safe and accessible. Through its partnership with CyranoHealth, a leading provider of healthcare training, Boston Children’s Hospital was able to create a comprehensive training program that is designed to help nurses and other healthcare workers improve their confidence.

Through this multisensory training method, students can gain an in-depth understanding of the latest innovations in healthcare technology. It also helps them develop their ability to navigate through real-world challenges.

According to John Brownstein, the chief innovation officer of Boston Children’s Hospital, the partnership with CyranoHealth allows the company to provide a revolutionary training method that uses spatial computing. This new approach to training aims to help healthcare workers become more effective and contribute to the development of a workforce that is more ready for the future.

Additional apps in surgical planning and education include:
  • Fundamental Surgery, which delivers surgical training through spatial computing for Apple Vision Pro.
  • CollaboratOR 3D by KARL STORZ, which enhances surgical learning opportunities while allowing teams to scale their training efforts.
  • Elsevier’s Complete HeartX, designed exclusively for Apple Vision Pro, which provides a captivating experience as it delves into the intricacies of the human body to create a realistic and engaging learning environment.
  • Insight Heart, which lets users understand the human heart like never before. With ARKit, users can easily scan their physical surroundings and visualize 3D hearts using CT data, as well as explore various heart conditions.
“At Apple, we believe technology can play an important role in the evolution of healthcare,” said Sumbul Desai, MD, Apple’s vice president of Health. “With the ability to transform a user’s space, display 3D objects at life size, and see all relevant data in one view, the opportunities for health developers to use Apple Vision Pro to help improve procedural planning, education, and outcomes are limitless.”
health and wellness

Productivity and Collaboration

Siemens Healthineers’ Cinematic Reality app for Apple Vision allows users to view and interact with interactive 3D models of the human body using medical scans. The app is powered by the M2 processor and utilizes path-tracing technology to create realistic reflections and lighting effects.

“Cinematic Reality gives people the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of photorealistic renderings of the human anatomy,” said Christian Zapf, Siemens Healthineers’ head of Digital & Automation. “Apple Vision Pro perfectly presents that three-dimensional experience, combined with great flexibility and standalone use. We see great potential for the technology for clinical as well as educational purposes.”

The Siemens Healthineers app for Apple Vision uses the company’s M2 processor and Metal to create realistic and interactive holograms of individuals captured using medical scans. It can be used by patients, doctors, and students to enhance their experience.

Every clinician relies on medical records to help improve the quality of care and develop new strategies to help patients.

Epic Systems, a healthcare technology company, is introducing its spatial computing concept for Apple Vision Pro, which will allow clinicians and physicians to complete various tasks and workflows more easily. With this feature, they can also communicate with each other using secure chat.

According to Seth Howard, an executive at Epic Systems, the company was able to create the first electronic medical record experience that utilizes spatial computing. He noted that the ability to interact with patients in new and immersive ways through Apple Vision Pro will allow clinicians to improve their efficiency and provide a better service.

Additional apps in productivity and collaboration include:
  • Visage Ease VP, which supports immersive spatial experiences for diagnostic imaging and multimedia. UC San Diego Health became the first health system to pilot the technology with the goal of improving patient care, looking at opportunities like potentially helping inefficient tumor board reviews and creating collaborative spaces in healthcare.
  • Falcon Vue, which unleashes the power of spatial medical imaging viewing across all modalities.
  • Medivis, which brings SurgicalAR Vision to Apple Vision Pro, enhancing medical imaging to support surgical precision and patient care.

Behavioral Health and Wellness

For patients who require assistance with their mental health, Cedars-SSinai’s Xaia application takes advantage of the Vision Pro’s advanced capabilities. It enables users to interact with a trained digital avatar, which can help them perform relaxation activities such as meditation and deep breathing.

The app allows users to customize their environment for therapy sessions, which can be held in their own home or a relaxing location such as a beach. Privacy is the main focus of the app, and it does not require patients to provide health information.

“Apple Vision Pro’s stunning display offers a gateway into a world of immersive, interactive behavioral health support — a quantum leap beyond previous technologies,” said Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, professor of medicine, director of Health Services Research, and director of the master’s degree program in Health Delivery Science at Cedars-Sinai.

Spiegel continues, “With Xaia, we leverage every pixel of that remarkable resolution and the full spectrum of vivid colors to craft a form of immersive therapy that’s engaging and deeply personal. With this remarkable device, our team was able to completely reimagine how spatial computing can support behavioral health and overall wellbeing in ways never before possible.”

If you are looking for spatial computing solutions with visionOS, reach out to me at bobby.carlton at fsstudio.com.