Mixed Reality with HoloLens: Where Virtual Reality Meets Augmented Reality in the Operating Room

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Abstract

Summary:

Virtual reality and augmented reality devices have recently been described in the surgical literature. The authors have previously explored various iterations of these devices, and although they show promise, it has become clear that virtual reality and/or augmented reality devices alone do not adequately meet the demands of surgeons. The solution may lie in a hybrid technology known as mixed reality, which merges many virtual reality and augmented realty features. Microsoft’s HoloLens, the first commercially available mixed reality device, provides surgeons intraoperative hands-free access to complex data, the real environment, and bidirectional communication. This report describes the use of HoloLens in the operating room to improve decision-making and surgical workflow. The pace of mixed reality–related technological development will undoubtedly be rapid in the coming years, and plastic surgeons are ideally suited to both lead and benefit from this advance.

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