TECH

Apple Vision Pro motivates giant California healthcare provider

Apple Vision Pro can be used by doctors

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A hospital system in San Diego is now exploring how the Apple Vision Pro could become an indispensable tool not only for static data, but also for overlaying scans and other medical information on the patient being examined.

California-based Sharp HealthCare is exploring the potential of spatial computing in healthcare. The organization created the Spatial Computing Center of Excellence to explore the usefulness of Apple Vision Pro for real-time health information management for doctors, nurses and specialists.

Sharp has partnered with Epic, a leading provider of electronic health records systems, to provide 30 Apple Vision Pro headsets to healthcare professionals.

“We've invested in enough devices that doctors, nurses, computer scientists, software developers and others can start using them right away,” said Dan Exley, Sharp's vice president of clinical systems. San Diego Union-Tribune. “We want them to work with us to figure out what tasks and workflows it’s best suited for.”

The nurse manager can visualize the statistics of all patients assigned to the nurses he supervises. Doctors could view a patient's complete medical history, X-rays and body scans, and quickly scan and select items with the touch of their fingers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune notes one particularly interesting use case: An anesthesiologist can view important information projected around the patient's head, rather than on awkwardly placed monitors. This will allow doctors to simultaneously visually monitor patients and their vital signs.

Apple, for its part, also believes that doctors and surgeons will be able to use the new device. Apple CEO Mike Rockwell believes surgeons could even use it during operations.

Dr. Tommy Korn, who is not affiliated with the Spatial Computing Center of Excellence, tested Apple Vision Pro and found it a useful tool. However, he noted that patients shouldn't expect their doctors to wear headsets during in-person appointments anytime soon.

If doctors wear a headset like the Apple Vision Pro while interacting with patients, it could reduce the amount of human interaction, Korn said. He thinks doctors could use it before seeing patients to gain more insight into patient records and focus less on computer screens in the rooms.

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