skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


Two devices have landed in the marketplace that promise to move augmented reality (AR) into the healthcare mainstream. Much less disorienting than previous-generation virtual reality headsets, Google Glass 2.0 and Microsoft's Hololens, while premium priced, can generate quick and substantial benefits.

Augmented reality is within reach and delivers significant benefits

Virtual reality capability has traditionally been either prohibitively expensive (immersive 3D suites) or personally disorienting for many users (full-field 3D goggles). The new crop of AR gear can deliver the same benefits with far fewer drawbacks.

Two "killer" use cases for AR have been implemented by several leading hospitals:

  • Visualizing computed tomography. CAT, PET, and MRI provide a much broader range of insights when viewed in 3D than in 2D sections. Diagnosis, such as tumor extent and involvement, and surgery planning can be transformed. It would be easy to say that every MRI, PET, and CAT suite should have a couple of Hololens sets for radiologists and consultants.

  • Teaching anatomy, diagnostics, and surgery. Being able to visualize organs and nervous and circulatory systems is a critical skill for medical and allied health practitioners. A class set of these devices could transform learning of gross anatomy – for much the same reason that CT is enhanced in 3D: our eyes and brains have evolved to gain far greater insight from a stereoscopic view, particularly when the object is moving.

While the second idea might take some time to implement, 3D in CT suites is an ideal target for an agile innovation project.



Richard Palmer, Principal Analyst, Public Sector

Recommended Articles


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now