VR world-first at Royal London Hospital

Recently we saw a breakthrough in the world of virtual reality, as surgeon Shafi Ahmed from Royal London Hospital completed a world-first by live streaming cancer surgery via VR across the globe.

No stranger to technology firsts, in 2014 Shafi Ahmed became the first person to conduct a live streamed surgery via Google Glasses, as he seeks to bring technology into the medical world.

This event, however, was a step-up from 2014, with the whole operation filmed with two 360 cameras with multiple lenses. This allowed full 360-degree access to the whole surgery, rather just than at eye level, meaning those who watched could see what the surgeon was doing from all angles.

As reported in the Evening Standard, this allowed medical students from the hospital and Queen Mary University Hospital to watch the full surgery using Google Cardboard VR headsets or on their smartphones.

In a quote from Dr Ahmed (taken from IBT):

“As a champion of new technology in medicine, I believe that virtual and augmented reality can revolutionise surgical education and training, particularly for developing countries that don’t have the resources and facilities of NHS hospitals,”

As virtual reality progresses swiftly and becomes more affordable, it’s great to see how it can be used effectively; with the medical sector embracing it to its full potential.

Generating interest from across the globe, it should give brands food for thought as to how they harness the power of immersive experiences to the max. As I expect we’ll see it more and more, I’m looking forward to seeing more examples like this where it is being used in an exciting way with clear purpose.

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Laura Chapman

Laura is a Comms Planning Manager at OMD UK.

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