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HoloLens 2 swapped for Apple Vision Pro in UK spinal fusion operation

Surgery team with (left) an Apple Vision Pro (source: London Independent Hospital val the Daily Mail)

A surgical assistant in London switched from HoloLens 2 to Apple Vision Pro for an operation and described it as a groundbreaking change.

Apple has stressed the benefits of Apple Vision Pro in health care, but now surgeons at the Cromwell Hospital in London, have undertaken a spinal operation wearing Apple Vision Pro.

The surgeons themselves did not wear the headset, despite some previous reports from UK tabloid, the Daily Mail. Instead, surgical assistant and scrub nurse Suvi Verho did, using it to follow the procedure and have the correct tools ready when needed.

"It eliminates human error... it eliminates the guesswork," Verho said at the London Independent Hospital. "It gives you confidence in surgery."

While wearing the Apple Vision Pro is a first for a UK surgical unit, Verho already had experience of using a HoloLens 2 for the same kind of operation. Quoted on LinkedIn by eXeX, the maker of medical software for VR headset, she said that headsets like the HoloLens "really made [operations] more fun and enjoyable."

Nonetheless, while having praised the HoloLens 2 in 2023, Verho has now described the Apple Vision Pro as a "gamechanger" for operations. The surgeons on the team agreed, saying that meant new staff could get the benefit of more experienced ones.

"That's the idea — that it doesn't matter if you've never been in a pitstop in your life," said surgeon Syed Aftab. "You just put the headset on."

He added that it was common for him to be assigned a new and unknown scrub nurse, and that the headset gave them ten years' worth of experience to draw on.