Preference Choice Publication

UK children's hospital to use Microsoft HoloLens to improve surgery

Tyrone Stewart

Alder Hey Microsoft HoloLensAlder Hey Children’s Hospital is teaming up with Microsoft to help doctors collaborate and improve surgical procedures, such as heart surgery.

The hospital in Liverpool, UK will use Microsoft’s Surface Hub to share patient charts, tests, and medical images amongst medical professionals, while the HoloLens mixed reality headset is used in the operating theatre to provide up-to-date information about a patient while they are in surgery.

“Imaging a patient’s heart from the inside and from the outside is absolutely essential,” said Rafael Guerrero, a cardiac surgeon at Alder Hey. “I have to visualise that 3D view in my head in order to do this operation. You can display those images on a screen in the operating theatre sometimes, but it’s not easily accessible; and I can’t leave in the middle of an operation to go get more information about my patient. In many cases, the heart has already stopped in order for us to operate.

“Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality will, in the future, enable me to have a patient’s scans in front of me while I’m doing the operation. If I can use technology to obtain that information, to see those images in front of me, that helps me tremendously and improves the outcome for my patient.”

In order to introduce the technology, the hospital is working with Microsoft partner Black Marble to develop an app.

The app will utilise InkCanvas and InkToolbar, enabling multiple people to write notes on the Surface Hub at once. Each note is time-stamped and shows the name of the author – and can then be uploaded to the HoloLens to be viewed during an operation.

For the time being, Black Marble has stored sample data in Azure Blob Storage. Although, Black Marble intends to integrate the app into Alder Hey’s existing data systems.