The average consumer has only recently woken up to the mainstream applications of virtual and augmented reality. Doctors, on the other hand, have embraced both technologies—collectively known as “XR” or “extended reality”—for almost two decades: The first successful remote surgery occurred in 2001, when a New York surgeon used remote robotic controls and 360-degree screens to perform cholecystectomy on a woman in France.
The theoretical and actual applications of XR for healthcare professionals have only expanded since. In 2016, Doctor Shafi Ahmed live-streamed a surgery in 360 degrees with AR glasses, providing 13,000 students and clinicians a direct POV learning opportunity via an app, which can be viewed in stereoscope by slotting your phone into a $15 cardboard headset.

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