Apple Vision Pro Breaking New Ground in Surgery

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The Apple Vision Pro continues to prove useful to the medical industry, this time being used to assist with a shoulder joint replacement.

Medical software maker eXeX recently revealed that the Apple Vision Pro was used to organize and manage a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. The procedure involves replacing a shoulder’s ball and socket joint, helping to improve muscle function.

The procedure was performed by G. Russel Huffman, MD, MPH of Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, at the AdventHealth Surgery Center Innovation Tower in Orlando, Florida.

According to the press release, this marks the first time the Apple Vision Pro has been used in this type of procedure. However, the headset was not worn by the surgeon performing the procedure on the patient’s body, but was instead used by a technician to handle the setup, inventory, and procedural guidelines.

eXeX says the Apple Vision Pro increased efficiency by providing the surgical team with data and visualization that were not previously available to them.

The Apple Vision Pro overcame one challenge that surgery participants had previously faced. The team used the Stryker personal protection system, which consists of a protective hood and gown. Unfortunately, the protective hood had in the past limited the use of mixed reality headsets. However, the Apple Vision Pro was small enough to fit and be used without any issues.

“This achievement is not just a milestone for eXeX but a leap forward for the entire medical industry,” said Dr. Huffman. “Our successful use of the Apple Vision Pro and the eXeX software in such a complex environment underscores our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in surgical procedures and patient care.”

While this was a first for a procedure of this type, the Vision Pro has previously proven valuable for medical purposes. In March, surgical assistant and scrub nurse Suvi Verho used the headset to assist in a spinal operation, following the procedure, allowing her to have the proper tools ready when needed.

“It eliminates human error… it eliminates the guesswork,” Verho said at the London Independent Hospital. “It gives you confidence in surgery.”

Verho had previously used a HoloLens 2 for the same kind of operation. She said headsets like the HoloLens “really made [operations] more fun and enjoyable.”

However, after using the Apple Vision Pro, Verho describes Apple’s headset as a “game changer” for operations, an opinion shared by surgeons on her team. Surgeons said the headset allows new staff to get the benefit of experienced staff.

“That’s the idea — that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in a pitstop in your life,” said surgeon Syed Aftab. “You just put the headset on.”

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