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Apple Vision Pro used by UK surgeons to repair a patient's spine

Apple Vision Pro used by UK surgeons to repair a patient's spine

The Apple Vision Pro has been used in a UK operating room for the first time.

The Apple Vision Pro isn't just good for gaming - it's just been used by medics in the operating room.

The mixed-reality headset was used during two spinal surgeries in what's being called a first for the UK and Europe.

However, the headset wasn't warn by doctors at the Cromwell Hospital in London - they were donned by a scrub nurse during the surgeries, where the Vision Pro displayed virtual screens imposed on the operating theatre so they could easily select tools and monitor the operation.

Michael M. Santiago / Staff / Getty
Michael M. Santiago / Staff / Getty

Cromwell Hospital partnered up with spatial computing healthcare firm eXeX, which said the headsets were used as a 'surgical logistics and organisational tool'.

Mr Syed Aftab, Consultant Orthopaedic 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.

“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.”

The Apple Vision Pro was launched earlier this year, and marked the tech giant's first foray into the world of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

The headset became available to buy in the US in early February, but a worldwide launch has not yet been scheduled - although rumors are flying around about when it might become more widely available.

Shannon Fagan / Getty
Shannon Fagan / Getty

Kate Bovell, Chief Operating Officer at Cromwell Hospital, said the move was part of the hospital's commitment to innovation, "Whether it is through harnessing robots or AI technology or using the latest, evidence-based approaches to deliver care".

It's all part of a growing trend for using mixed-reality in operating rooms.

A South Korean company called MediThinQ is working on extended reality wearable displays made for surgeons.

The augmented reality glasses aim to display important information to surgeons during operations, so they won’t need to divert their attention away from the patient.

It’s looking like this could soon become reality - last month, the company signed a deal with medical devices giant, Medtronic, which will distribute the products in the US and Japan.

So, VR headsets could be a game-changer for surgeries and might soon become a normal part of every operating theatre.

Featured Image Credit: eXeX / Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty