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Humans and technology

Future surgeons could be trained by VR doctors

January 23, 2018

Shafi Ahmed is, by some measures, the world’s most-watched surgeon—and now he thinks he can use VR to make medical training more accessible.

The streaming surgeon: Last year, Ahmed used Snap’s Spectacles to walk viewers through a hernia operation. Millions of people have viewed broadcasts of his procedures online.

Stepping into VR: Now, Bloomberg reports that Ahmed plans to use VR and AR to insert his avatar into operating rooms in order to teach budding surgeons. “Doctors do not need to feel out of their depth, and this technology will allow them to get help whenever required,” he says.

Why it matters: As the worldwide need for health care increases, the World Health Organization has made a call to “scale up transformative, high-quality education” for doctors and surgeons. Additionally, robotic surgery, which is becoming more common, is taking away training opportunities for young doctors. VR could give them more chances to learn.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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