I experienced my first demo of HoloLens in May 2015 during Microsoft's annual BUILD2015 developers conference.
The premise of the demo was that I was an architect designing a new building that was going to be built in a recently cleared city block. By moving the building from a computer running CAD software and placing it into my field of view in a physical scale model of that city block, I was able to adjust the height and other dimensions of the building and see how it impacted the surrounding buildings.
All of this was can be done well before any drawings are finalized or the first actual brick is laid out and reinforces this concept showing the value of being able to view everything to scale using holograms and making those final decisions prior to moving forward with any physical modifications/construction.
Well, that same concept is behind a new design process for operating rooms that was announced by Microsoft partner Stryker this week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2017 conference which is being held in Orlando, Florida.
Stryker is a 71 year old medical technology company that has it roots in building tools to help doctors/surgeons be more effective in the operating room. It was founded in February 1946 by its name sake Dr. Homer Stryker.
Since operating rooms are now shared by all of the various surgical teams that are present in a hospital, the design and layout of that space is critical to the overall success of the organization.
In the past, Stryker used to bring together the key members of the hospital, various surgical teams, and all of the expensive physical equipment that these teams would need to use in the shared operating room. At that meeting they would then move all of the equipment around to determine the most efficient use of space, what worked best for each surgical discipline, and address any conflicts.
By combining HoloLens with their new By Design software, Stryker can now build 3D layouts of shared operating rooms without the need to bring together everyone together in one physical location.
The design tool has full 3D holographic models of the surgical equipment needed by each specialty and with the physical dimensions of the operating room laid out they can move around these holograms to try out various configurations.
This video will give you an idea exactly how this process works:
According to Microsoft's Lorraine Bardeen, the General Manager for HoloLens and Windows Experiences, this is just a small example of how partners and developers are bringing the benefits of mixed reality to the forefront in many different organizations around the world.