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Augmented Reality-Like Wearable Streamlines Saving Lives

Augmented Reality-Like Wearable Streamlines Saving Lives
technology

Thanks to Vivi, a wearable mini-display that exhibits patient vitals, doctors no longer have to focus their attention away when operating

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 3 november 2015

When innovating the current instruments doctors have at their disposal, it’s essential to show restraint on the impulse to overload the workbench with exorbitant features. Opting for a minimalist, hands-free approach, user-experience design firm Method, in collaboration with Bay Innovation, have designed a new HUD (Heads-up Display) named Vivi that instantly delivers patient vitals and supplementary materials to doctors mid-operation.

Most notable for its simplicity, the wearable pops over one eye when operating and subsequently swivels out of the way when not needed, making for a practical-use case that’s as serviceable as it is modest.

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Peering into the device, surgeons are presented with a diminutive 8-bit-esque display configurable through their smartphones.

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That said, the device is designed for the ‘general gist-of-things’ and isn’t intended to compete with pre-existing technologies, rather to be utilized in tandem. As such, surgeons are able to refocus their attention solely on the patient; should a critical situation arise, it is then that they would gather more in-depth information elsewhere.

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“Operating theaters can be quite busy and messy places with lots of screens and lots of people doing different jobs who aren’t necessarily stationary…you have to keep the space clear for people to go to work on the patient, and often the screens aren’t in the right location to get a good line of sight. The problem in a sense was to manage this [particular aspect],” says Method’s CTO David Rajan.

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In being one of few wearables catering to a hypertargeted and highly specialized audience, Vivi is proof that wearbles needn’t do it all. By restricting functionality in such a way so as to narrow the focus of the product, Vivi alternatively becomes a hub for familiarizing and integrating people into the head mounted display sector. Looking toward new horizons, Method’s ultimate vision is for the product to propagate within the health care industry, though Bay Innovation might have other ideas.

“Sport is possibly one of the first places where the product could achieve some market penetration and success. Cyclists often have Tom Tom and Garmin [GPS devices] and have to look down. Runners are also always looking at their watch to see if they’re making their performance target, “says Rajan.

The key distinguishing factor between Vivi and say, Google Glass, is the approach; Method is aiming to reach niche markets. By isolating the wants and needs of various archetypes and genres rather than exercising a one-size-fits-all approach, a more fulfilling product can be achieved that builds upon existing lifestyles rather than annexing them. The future looks bright for Vivi and doctors alike—perhaps the integration into new markets might disrupt the way we see things altogether, though in an unpredictable world everyone has something to benefit from when doctors get a new tool.

Method

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