Alder Hey to use Microsoft HoloLens to improve surgery | Innovation

Alder Children’s Hospital has teamed up with in a partnership which will see the hospital using mixed-reality headsets to improve surgical outcomes.

Alder Hey will use technology from Microsoft to help doctors collaborate and improve the way surgeons operate.

Using Microsoft’s large screen Surface Hubs, doctors will be able to share patient charts, test and medical images which would usually be written on paper and located at different points within the hospital.

For surgeons, the headset will enable them to create 3D holograms which can be viewed and interacted with in real-time. This will give surgeons up-to-date information that they can view whilst operating on a patient.

Rafael Guerrero, a cardiac surgeon at Alder Hey, explained the benefits that HoloLens could bring.

“Imaging a patient’s heart from the inside and from the outside is absolutely essential. I have to visualise that 3D view in my head in order to do this operation. You can display those images on a screen in the operating theatre sometimes, but it’s not easily accessible; and I can’t leave in the middle of an operation to go get more information about my patient. In many cases, the heart has already stopped in order for us to operate.

“Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality will, in the future, enable me to have a patient’s scans in front of me while I’m doing the operation. If I can use technology to obtain that information, to see those images in front of me, that helps me tremendously and improves the outcome for my patient,” Guerrero explained.

HoloLens will give surgeons access to information that may have not previously been available during surgery, all in real-time and without the surgeon having to use their hands.

The hospital is now working with Microsoft partner Black Marble to develop and app and introduce the two pieces of technology.

Robert Hogg, chief executive of Black Marble, said: “HoloLens has powerful visualisation capabilities. Coupled with the Surface Hub, which is excellent for transforming collaborative experiences, we saw a range of opportunities for creating engaging user experiences. The common factor for both these devices is that they are delivered on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which enabled us to write the application once, and still take advantage of the best features of both devices.”

Clinical director of at Alder Hey, Iain Hennessey said: “It’s incredibly important that we embrace technology to get our best people out there and do extraordinary things. At the end of the day, the health of children is more important than anything else.”

Check out the video below to see how the technology is being used within Alder Hey.

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