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AR Application Turns Medical Scans Into Holograms for Assistance in Surgical Planning

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 22 Mar 2024

Siemens Healthineers (Erlangen, Germany) has launched an app designed for Apple Vision Pro that allows users including surgeons, medical students, or patients to view immersive, interactive holograms of the human body captured using medical scans in their real-world environment. Visualizing the renderings via the app can aid surgical planning and medical education, or help patients visualize procedures. The Cinematic Reality app is now available on the Apple App Store.

Apple Vision Pro, the company’s first spatial computer, seamlessly blends digital content with the user’s physical world. Intuitive gestures enable users to interact with apps by just looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using a virtual keyboard or dictation to type. Using the Cinematic Reality app on Apple Vision Pro, users can zoom into details of clinical images, enlarging content and rotating around a rendering of the human body and providing basic two-dimensional reading tools such as scrolling. Cinematic Reality app users can simply visualize clinical cases directly through the native app without connecting to an additional computer.

Image: The Cinematic Reality app enables interaction with realistic renderings of human anatomy (Photo courtesy of Siemens)
Image: The Cinematic Reality app enables interaction with realistic renderings of human anatomy (Photo courtesy of Siemens)

The Cinematic Reality app leverages the power of Apple Silicon and Metal, creating a robust foundation for future development. The app offers a more realistic way of visualizing organs or body parts, allowing users to better explain clinical cases to patients, discuss clinical questions around referrals, and educate medical students. Going forward, it can aid surgeons in pre-operative planning, facilitate interdisciplinary communication between specialists in different fields, or help non-radiologists and patients to better interpret scans and conditions.

“Cinematic Reality gives people the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of photorealistic renderings of the human anatomy,” said Christian Zapf, head of Digital and Automation at Siemens Healthineers. “Apple Vision Pro perfectly presents that three-dimensional experience, combined with great flexibility and standalone use. We see great potential for the technology for clinical as well as educational purposes.”

“We have further optimized our existing algorithm of Cinematic Reality to allow computationally intense methods to run on Apple Vision Pro’s M2 processor”, added Sebastian Krueger, lead developer Cinematic Reality at Siemens Healthineers. “The rendering technique is used to simulate the way light interacts with objects in a virtual environment, producing highly realistic lighting and reflections in the resulting images.”

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