When you hear the words “augmented reality” you probably think of Pokémon Go! Unlike most, this Lebanese doctor thought of the opportunities it could open up to medical professionals all over the world – and all they need are two iPads.
Dr. Nadine Haram co-founded Proximie, software that allows a doctor to perform surgery remotely. It works by having one iPad in the operating room, with its camera over the patient.
The live feed is transmitted to a second iPad, held by a doctor who can be anywhere in the world. The doctor makes marks on a separate screen that show surgeons in the operating room what incisions to make. The marks are superimposed on the surgery feed, showing specific procedures and techniques for the surgeons to use.
This is important because it could provide top tier healthcare to people in developing countries. Specialists and highly trained doctors could lend their experience to others without having to waste time boarding a flight.
That may not seem like a major achievement, but consider the fact that up to 5 billion people can’t access safe surgery, as reported by Pioneering Global Prosperity. Proximie could help train surgeons in conflict areas as well as medical students – operating rooms don’t usually have a viewing area anymore.
For more experienced doctors, it offers an opportunity to share knowledge with peers and to exchange ideas. It essentially encourages all surgical centers to up their standards. Though the founders work in plastic surgery (and that has been Proximie partners’ focus), it has the potential to be applied to other fields.
Proximie has partnered with NGOs like Global Smile Foundation, Peru Cleft Program and Facing the World, donating its services to help causes like repairing cleft lips. The company has also won the Royal Society of Medicine prize for innovation in e-Health.
Watch the video to learn more about Proximie (caution: it includes some footage of surgery, so squeamish viewers beware).