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Surgeons use an Apple headset.

TechnologySurgeons use an Apple headset.

Futurism Devices is an image by Justin Sullivan.

A surgery team in the UK used the recently-released Apple Vision Pro to assist spine surgery, which is a fascinating use case for the augmented reality headsets that goes far beyond movie-watching, productivity-hacking, or distracted driving The expensive "spatial computing" device was used to execute two microspinal procedures at London's Cromwell Hospital. The device was donned by an assisting surgical scrub nurse, who used headset-integrated software called eXeX to access things like "surgical setup and the procedural guides from within the sterile field of the operating theatre." The headset gave the people in the operating room hands-free access to documents and other information related to the procedure. "It's a real privilege to be the first team in the UK and Europe to use this software within surgery, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this technology advances and the impact it can have," said Syed Aftab, a surgeon involved in the procedures. Virtual reality tools have been used in medical settings before. Doctors have used virtual reality for years to study and train for medical procedures and even to give patients a glimpse into their bodies and treatment options. Virtual reality has also been used in medical education. The VP of worldwide developer relations for Apple said she was "thrilled to see the incredible apps that developers across the healthcare community are bringing to Apple Vision Pro" in a recent press release. "The imagination and drive of our developers, combined with the technical capabilities of visionOS, are sparking new possibilities for physicians, frontline workers, and even students," she said, "and we can't wait to see what's to come." The Vision Pro's ability for users to see "through" may allow it to offer a competitive edge against rivals. The device has cameras that let the wearer see the environment outside of their goggles, which is something you probably want for someone assisting in an operating room. The hospital where the successful surgeries in question were performed seems pleased with the results. The surgery was a success, but the nurse probably wasn't too comfortable with having a 1.5 pound face computer strapped to your skull for hours on end.

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