Two surgeons using HoloLens to look at leg during operation

Digital Surgery is aiming to make operations safer by using Microsoft HoloLens

A company using technology to make surgery safer has joined a Microsoft programme to develop mixed-reality solutions for operating theatres across the world.

Digital Surgery has been made an official Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner and will create mixed-reality apps and programs for Microsoft HoloLens to help surgeons as they work.

The company estimates that more than five billion people don’t have access to safe surgical care, with medical knowledge one of the key issues. Using HoloLens, surgeons can see information about a procedure and the patient in front of them at all times.

Dr Jean Nehme, Chief Executive of Digital Surgery, said: “The Microsoft recognition is truly an honour and sets the stage for our larger mission, which is to deliver safe surgical care for all.

“With our AI technology and database of digital surgical processes, we’ve trained a computer to understand surgical procedures and predict what happens next. With HoloLens, we open the exciting opportunity to use the system’s integrated camera as the visual recognition system to deliver even more immersive experiences for the entire surgical team.

“This collaboration is a critical part of our strategy to partner with the world’s best technology firms, especially providers of breakthrough hardware, to support the delivery of safer surgery. I am excited to see what we can accomplish together.”

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is becoming increasingly important to companies across the globe. According to market intelligence firm IDC, “worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020″.

Leila Martine, Product Director of Commercial Mixed Reality at Microsoft, said: “We are delighted to have Digital Surgery accredited as a Mixed Reality Partner. Given the pace of technological change, it is key that customers can access partners who understand the potential of mixed reality and have the proven ability to deliver transformative solutions.

Everything you need to know about HoloLens

“It’s great to see Microsoft HoloLens being added to Digital Surgery’s impressive content catalogue, and help us jointly shape the future of surgery and improvements in patient outcomes.”

Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Partner programme has so far helped police forces across the UK to improve their operations, as well as train manufacturer Alstom, truck maker Paccar, home improvement business Lowe’s and engineering firm CDM Smith.

Rather than put users in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them. As the Windows-10-based product does not have wires or external cameras, or require a phone or PC connection, users can walk around the objects they create and interact with them using gestures, gaze and voice.

Last month, Microsoft unveiled Dynamics 365 Layout and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, which allows workers to collaborate via HoloLens.