Apple Vision Pro used in spinal surgery

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Apple's Vision Pro headset has been utilized in spinal surgery procedures at Cromwell Hospital in London, marking a significant step in the integration of mixed-reality technology in healthcare. The headset was worn by a scrub nurse, who assisted the surgical team by using the device to view virtual screens that displayed important information during the surgery. This allowed for better organization and efficiency, as the nurse could reference the surgery plan in real time, effectively enhancing their ability to assist during the operation. The software used in conjunction with the Vision Pro headset was developed by eXeX, a company that provides AI-driven tech platforms for hospitals. Surgeon Syed Aftab praised the technology, stating that it transformed the way care was delivered to patients and improved the efficiency of the Complex Spine team147. The Vision Pro headset is part of a broader range of healthcare applications that have been developed since its release. These applications include Stryker's Mako SmartRobotics for hip and knee replacements, Fundamental Surgery for surgical training, and Cedars-Sinai's app for mental health support1. Apple's Vision Pro is also being explored for use in medical training, telemedicine, diagnostics, and patient education111416. The use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies in spine surgery is not entirely new. Augmedics, for example, has developed the xvision spine system, an AR guidance system for surgery, which has been used in thousands of spine surgeries3. A systematic review also indicates that AR/VR technologies have the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in spine surgery, although there is still a need for further development and more intraoperative studies6. Apple's Vision Pro is described as a "spatial computer" and is considered a significant leap in spatial computing. It integrates digital content with the physical world, allowing users to interact with digital content as if it were physically present in their space. The device uses eye and hand tracking for navigation and interaction and is powered by visionOS, the first-ever spatial operating system8. The integration of Vision Pro in surgical procedures aligns with Apple's broader push into healthcare, which includes initiatives across various products such as the Apple Watch's health-tracking features and the iPhone's health applications45. The use of Vision Pro in surgery is seen as a game-changer by healthcare professionals, potentially reducing human error and enhancing the confidence and efficiency of surgical teams717.
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