Hospital Scrubs In Apple Vision Pro For Spine Surgery, Is This The Future Of Healthcare?

Surgical team prepping for surgery, with a scrub nurse wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset.
As much as Apple may envision its $3,500 Vision Pro headset being adopted by consumers on a mass scale, it’s priced more like a development kit or a professional tool, be it in an enterprise setting or, as is the case in the UK, a hospital. More specifically, Cromwell Hospital recently employed Apple’s fancy spatial computing headset in the operating room to help fix a patient’s spine.

“Introduced to the hospital by eXeX, a leader in artificial intelligence and spatial computing for surgical organization and workflow optimization, surgeons Mr Fady Sedra and Mr Syed Aftab, part of the Complex Spine group who operate out of Cromwell Hospital, used the technology to successfully perform two microsurgical spine procedures,” a press release states.

Suvi Verho, the surgical team’s lead scrub nurse, was the one donning the Vision Pro headset. The press release is short on details, though Verho told The Daily Mail that the headset “gives you confidence in surgery” and called it a “game changer,” noting that “it eliminates human error” and “guesswork.”

Aftab essentially echoed the sentiment. This is apparently the first time the surgeon worked with Verho, which is not an unusual practice in healthcare, but Aftab said the software has the ability to make it feel like they have ten years of experience together.

“Working with eXeX to use the Apple Vision Pro has made a huge difference to the way we deliver care to our patients. The software is seamless and has improved efficiency within the Complex Spine team. It’s a real privilege to be the first team in the UK and Europe to use this software within surgery and I’m looking forward to seeing how this technology advances and the impact it can have across hospitals in the UK,” Aftab stated in a press release.
In a press release of its own, Apple touted a new myMake app developed by Stryker, which doctors can use to prepare for surgeries. Apple also called out various other healthcare initiatives that play into the Vision Pro’s capabilities.
Apple Vision Pro overlay for total knee plan using Mako's software.

“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. “With Apple Vision Pro, Stryker’s market-leading enabling technologies such as Mako SmartRobotics have the exciting potential to transform the way surgeons think about preoperative planning and the intraoperative experience, all consistent with Stryker’s mission to make healthcare better.”

As someone who has undergone multiple knee surgeries (torn ACL, meniscus damage) and will probably need knee replacements at some point, I’m curious to see how the Vision Pro and related technologies affect the outcome. Augmented reality in the operating room is still the exception, not the norm (Microsoft’s HoloLens has already been there, done that, so to speak, as have headsets like the Augmedics one used at John Hopkins). However, this could very well be the future of healthcare, or at least a part of it.

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