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London’s Cromwell Hospital Uses Apple’s Vision Pro in Spinal Surgery

Written by : Nikita Saha

March 14, 2024

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According to the tech giant, this cutting-edge mixed-reality headset, designed to enhance medical precision, has the potential to revolutionize surgical practices.

In a recent development, Apple’s Vision Pro headset has been successfully deployed during spinal surgeries at Cromwell Hospital in London.

A surgical team at Cromwell Hospital, led by orthopedic spinal surgeons Dr Fady Sedra and Dr Syed Aftab, used Apple’s Vision Pro for two microsurgical spine procedures.

Interestingly, it was a scrub nurse who incorporated the headset seamlessly into the surgical process.

The nurse's use of real-time data streaming, surgical preparation, and instrument selection were all enhanced by the device, potentially reducing human errors and bolstering surgical confidence.

The hospital’s introduction to the Vision Pro headset came through eXeX, a tech platform provider for healthcare institutions.

Sharing thoughts, Dr Aftab, the consultant orthopedic spinal surgeon, said, “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.”

According to the tech giant, this cutting-edge mixed-reality headset, designed to enhance medical precision, can potentially revolutionize surgical practices.

How Apple’s Vision Pro Works

The Vision Pro headset, developed by Apple, combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Featuring an intuitive interface, the headset enables healthcare professionals to access vital information without disrupting the surgical field.

Furthermore, the device overlays digital data onto the surgeon's view, offering real-time guidance during intricate procedures.

Since the recent release of Apple's Vision Pro device in the US, a variety of healthcare apps compatible with the headset have emerged.

Among these, Stryker's Mako SmartRobotics has introduced an app tailored for surgeons specializing in hip and knee replacements.

Additionally, Fundamental Surgery offers surgical training via virtual reality, while Cedars-Sinai provides an app offering mental health support through meditation and deep breathing exercises for patients.

Highlighting the collaborative spirit, Susan Prescott, VP, worldwide developer relations, Apple, said, “We’re thrilled to see the incredible apps that developers across the healthcare community are bringing to Apple Vision Pro.”

According to him, with technological advancements like this, the horizon of medical possibilities continues to expand.

“As the headset becomes an integral part of surgical suites, patient outcomes stand to benefit significantly. The future of healthcare is indeed looking clearer through the lens of innovation,” he added.

Apple’s Latest Series of Healthcare Developments

Founded in 1976, Apple Inc is an American manufacturer of personal computers, smartphones, and tablet computers. Over the years, Apple has expanded the use of its technology into other domains and industries

In recent years, Apple has been boosting several health-related initiatives. It aims to bridge the gaps between patients and doctors, and all the data in between.

Further, Apple has enabled an entire ecosystem for other creators to develop their own health applications and new ways to measure different health metrics.

In October, Apple launched Vision Pro, its first mixed-reality headset. Its advanced features include the ability to control it with just your hands and eyes, rather than having to use controllers.

Last month, Apple developed a new sensor attached to its Apple Watch, which is capable of monitoring health status using sweat samples.

Reportedly, with this sensor, the Apple Watch can provide data to athletes, guide fluid intake after a workout, and has potential applications in sobriety tests and medical measurements such as cystic fibrosis.


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