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Augmented Reality and iOS 14

By Natasha Singh on October 22, 2020

The release of ARKit led to some of the most innovative applications for AR on mobile devices. With Apple’s Augmented Reality platform, iPhone users had access to some of the coolest AR app games and consumer tools that could make their lives easier. 

In this post, we are going to look at some of the potential uses for AR beyond games and consumer apps. Instead, we will see some of the ways iOS 14 could be used for healthcare.

The ARKit results in an expansion of iOS’s Augmented Reality abilities and signifies Apple’s continued interest in the development of the technology. The ARKit provides developers with a slew of new tools designed to help create a new generation of Augmented Reality apps. As an app development agency, Blue Label Labs is excited to see the potential of the new technology that could change the gaming universe and everyday life.

While Augmented Reality has many practical uses for apps, the implications for gaming apps cannot be ignored. The new ARKit has allowed for many new gaming apps. These include World Brush (a game where users can draw 3d designs in the real world), Star Wars (including 3d characters), and Kings of Pool (a virtual game of 3d pool). You can see these games and others in the video below.

One great example is the Housecraft app. This app uses the phone’s camera and Augmented Reality to drop fully-rendered 3D pieces of furniture into a user’s home. They can see whether they will fit and if they look good with the existing décor. Another app similar to Housecraft comes from Edmunds, a car research, and buying company. This AR app lets the user put any life-sized car in the room in front of them. This research will allow car buyers to see if a potentially purchased car would fit in their garage.

 

As useful as Augmented Reality apps like Housecraft can be, AR has serious potential for improving and expanding healthcare services. With AR in healthcare, patients will get better outcomes and it can also be used to deliver care to places where it may not have been available. Furthermore, with some of the advances coming with iOS 14, Augmented Reality on the iPhone is going to improve and this could also be a step toward enhancing healthcare AR.

With the new ARKit comes many exciting apps and features, it will be interesting to see the future of apps. Here at Blue Label Labs we are excited to see the new capabilities and are evolving with the new technology. We have built Augmented Reality apps in the past and are excited to build more in the years to come.

Augmented Reality Assisted Surgery 

Precision is of paramount importance when performing surgery. Surgeons need to know the exact location of organs and veins to perform surgery without causing any damage to parts of the body that are not subject to the procedure. With AR apps, doctors will be able to see the exact locations of different organs and veins. It could even be used to place a 3D rendering of a tumor at its exact location in the patient to help the surgeon remove it with greater safety and accuracy.

If this technology were to come to iOS 14, the doctor would use some type of AR glasses that work with Apple products. The glasses would display the virtual images in front of the doctor’s eyes and the information would be right there for easy access. These glasses could even give feedback on the patient’s condition during the procedure.  

Motivate Exercise with Augmented Reality Apps

Doctors are always prescribing exercise to help patients manage a number of conditions. With that said, many patients fail to stick with the exercise because they get bored or do not feel like doing the work. Using an Augmented Reality platform like the one on iOS 14, app developers could build healthcare apps that gamify exercise. This helps to motivate patients to stay on track.

The game Zombies, Run! offers a good example of how this can work. This game uses audio and onscreen actions to turn every walk or run into a mission of surviving a zombie apocalypse. Users run from zombies and follow tasks to complete a mission when they use the app. It can be a good way to make running or walking a more entertaining activity and it could be useful for motivating people to exercise.

Revealing Human Anatomy with Augmented Reality Apps

App developers can also use AR for education. Instead of using static charts and textbooks to visualize human anatomy, AR could work to provide a more lifelike representation for students. It could show the inner workings of the body and show how organs and different body systems work.

This is the type of Augmented Reality application that could work with an iPhone, iPad, or a pair of AR glasses. The system could work with an interactive model that allows the user to hold the phone or tablet up to a dummy to see different parts of the body. With glasses, the wearer could just look at different areas and see different body systems at work.

Virtual Collaboration

One issue in healthcare is access to specialists. You might be able to go to your primary care physician, but you might not be able to see different specialists in your area or there might be a long waiting list. With AR, your doctor could collaborate with a specialist to deliver the care you need in a way that is timely and more convenient.

Your primary care physician could connect with a specialist using an iPhone and they could discuss your care virtually. If you need a simple procedure, your doctor could wear AR glasses that allow the specialist to see what he or she is seeing. The specialist could then walk your doctor through the procedure.

Patient Education 

Patient education can be an issue in some situations. Doctors need to teach patients about their condition or treatment, but the information might not stick or the patient may lack interest. Augmented Reality apps offer another option for patient education and it could be more effective than alternatives.

An app could be developed to show patients how a treatment works. Healthcare AR could also be used to walk patients through physical therapy programs or to teach them about the effects of a surgical procedure. AR could also be used to show patients how a drug will interact with their body so they get a better idea of what to expect. Using healthcare Augmented Reality can be a good way to make these lessons more interesting and it could also help patients retain the information after they learn it.

With iOS 14 just coming out, we have yet to see its full potential. We have already seen the power of past versions of iOS and they were already taking steps toward becoming useful for healthcare. As Apple continues to refine their AR platform and develop tools for iphone app developers and users, we should expect to see healthcare and AR becoming a more common part of the iOS ecosystem.

 

 

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