The Future of Medicine – Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 3D Printing in Surgery

Medical students dissect human bodies during a lecture, patients look at their liver in 3D together with physicians, and experts from all over the world can be consulted during a surgery. What may seem futuristic, could soon become everyday life in clinics and universities. New information technologies can help to supply surgeons with important information before and during surgeries, thereby noticeably increasing the chances of a successful outcome.

The “VIVATOP” project (Versatile Immersive Virtual and Augmented Tangible OP), which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, pursues precisely this goal. Using Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D printing, applications are designed to effectively support the planning and execution of surgeries as well as training and education scenarios. The concept will be developed and evaluated during the three-year project using the example of visceral surgery.

Application Scenarios at a Glance

In everyday clinical practice there are three application scenarios for the use of VR, AR and 3D printed organ models.