Technology has been a considerable force behind advancements in healthcare as more innovations are finding their way into hospitals, private practices, and organizations alike.
Significant breakthroughs in Health IT have innovated areas of medical research, patient data collection, and efficiency of overall patient care within the healthcare system. Health IT fuels the development of integrated software programs, artificial organs from 3-D printing, surgical robots, and more.
Snapchat Surgery: Using Snapchat Spectacles to Revolutionize Healthcare + Teaching
Healthcare professionals are now utilizing medical technology to engage their students and make medical education more accessible. Dr. Shafi Ahmed – a top surgeon in London – made history last December when he used Snapchat Spectacles to live stream a routine surgery on Snapchat.
We truly admire the work of Dr. Ahmed at st-tech and believe he’s leading the health IT forefront. Here’s why:
He’s No Stranger to Using Technology in Healthcare
A quick Google search on “Dr. Shafi Ahmed” will result in nearly 500k articles reporting on the ways he is incorporating technology in his healthcare practice.
In 2014, Dr. Ahmed dawned Google Glass and performed a live stream of a surgery – of the removal of a cancerous tumor – which was broadcasted to 13,000 students around the globe. Not only did they view the surgery first hand, they were able to interact with the surgeon throughout the procedure by asking questions as to his purpose for the actions they were watching on their screens.
From VR, to live streams, to serious games, Dr. Ahmed is not a stranger to getting the curious public and inspiring surgeons up close and personal in the operating room.
#VRinOR: About Medical Realities + The Virtual Surgeon™
Behind the surgeon is the company he co-founded: Medical Realities. Medical Realities aims to make medical education more accessible using modern technology to cut costs and shatter socioeconomic boundaries.
Their pioneer product, The Virtual Surgeon™, hopes to combine AR and VR to allow future surgeons to get a feel for the operating room and complete hands-on training in an interactive, mixed-reality environment.
While there are plenty of surgery apps out there – some serious and some not so much (*cough* Surgeon Simulator *cough*) we have found one worthy of inquiring minds. If you’re interested in bringing a real operating room simulation to your device, we recommend downloading Touch Surgery – the best in surgical simulator apps.
The Snapchat Surgery
So, how did the Snapchat surgery go? While Dr. Ahmed was performing surgery, he was using the Snapchat Spectacles to live stream the procedure to students via his Snapchat story. The medical students were able to see the full operation as Dr. Ahmed performed a hernia repair surgery.
In an interview with TIME, he mentioned that Snapchat’s 10-second limit allowed him to reflect on his teaching every time he went to record another segment.
The accessibility of using Snapchat Spectacles, and subsequently the Snapchat app, allowed the Doc to reach over 150 medical students who were tuned in on their phones. Dr. Ahmed has since posted the Snapchat surgery on YouTube – where it has more than 100k views.
The Future of Technology in Healthcare
It’s crazy to think that an app that is meant for capturing your daily quips and impressing your friends can be used to revolutionize medical education and break down barriers across the world. The efforts of Dr. Shafi Ahmed mark a long journey in healthcare as top practitioners challenge the status quo and embrace new technology for the betterment of their patients’ health.
Are you excited about the technological advancements being made in healthcare? Check out Medical Realities and let us know what you think about their mission on Twitter or in the comments below.
Revision: It has come to our attention that the first surgeon to utilize Google Glass technology was Dr. Rafael Grossmann, not Dr. Shafi Ahmed. We apologize for the error and have since updated this article. We look forward to crafting an article about Dr. Grossmann in the future!
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