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Over the Rainbow: Using Microsoft HoloLens

Blog Over The Rainbow

There’s a moment in “The Wizard of Oz,” after Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s house falls to the ground, where Dorothy gets up off the bed and opens the door which takes her into a Technicolor world. Medical education and healthcare marketing are experiencing just such a moment right now. In other words, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

A whole host of new technologies are propelling us away from the staid, black-and-white world of didactic presentations and into a colorful new universe filled with immersive experiences. Our first significant foray into this realm: Microsoft HoloLens. A mixed-reality device, HoloLens uses a head-mounted display to project 3D images onto a tinted visor, which appear to the viewer as if they actually occupy the space where the viewer is currently situated. New technologies are propelling us away from the staid, black-and-white world of didactic presentations.

The medical education implications for this device are staggering. As I outlined in a previous blog, mixed-reality provides a novel way to learn new surgical techniques, explore drugs and disease states at the cellular and molecular levels, and travel individually through the human body’s interior in real-time. Rather than tell you more about the HoloLens, let me show you how it works.

We recently developed a 3D simulation exploring various migraine therapies with our sister agency, Forefront Collaborative. It explores anti-CGRPs, mAbs, ditans, triptans, and gepants, and how they affect the nervous system. Three viewing options are included: brain, neurovascular, and molecular. Users may toggle among the views and different molecule types by clicking on the circular buttons on the bottom menu. If the user overs the icons, the text will appear above the buttons indicating the view or molecule type. Additionally, they may navigate left, right, forward, and backward using the arrows on their keyboard; and change the angle of view by clicking, holding down, and dragging their mouse.

This simulation demonstrates what a viewer using the HoloLens would see, however instead of using their mouse or arrow keys, the HoloLens user simply walks around and moves his or her head.

What other possibilities can you think of for applying this breathtaking technology?

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