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Mixed reality 3D hologram technology is used in surgery


Digital holograms are a new tool in operating rooms around the world. Dr. Travis Falconer, a shoulder and elbow surgeon at Private Hospital in Hollywood, Washington, used HoloLens mixed reality headset during surgery.

Mixed reality is a fusion of the real and virtual worlds with enhanced immersion and interaction.

Falconer was able to see a 3D hologram of the surgery plan over the patient’s anatomy in real time, allowing him to use planning software and access data analysis during surgery. Using hand gestures and voice commands, he could interact with holographic objects.

The purpose of using mixed reality techniques is to increase accuracy and simplify complex operations. The ability to refer to the surgical plan during surgery provides another level of checks and balances for surgeons.

Falconer said he was honored to be selected by medical technology company Stryker to test a new medical technology in Washington.

“I think this is just the beginning of what’s to come in terms of preoperative planning, the use of navigation, mixed reality and the introduction of robotic upper extremity surgery,” Falconer said.

This type of technology allows surgeons to access real-time computer solutions and 3D holograms associated with a patient image or surgical technique during a procedure while remaining sterile. They can also interact remotely with colleagues outside the theatre.1

Director of Health Services John Maxwell said the use of mixed reality is at the forefront of the latest technology in healthcare.

“It offers great potential in the future, such as using artificial intelligence and optimizing case planning,” Maxwell said.


1 Gregory TM, Gregory J, Sledge J, Allard R, Meer O. Mixed reality-guided surgery: a proof-of-concept presentation. Acta orthop. October 2018; 89 (5): 480-483. doi: 10.1080/17453674.2018.1506974. PMID: 30350756; PMCID: PMC6202760.


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