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September 27, 2016

7 Medical Augmented Reality Apps to Inspire Healthcare Product Marketers

Exploring the growing number of medical augmented reality (AR) apps can be helpful as you evaluate your product’s go-to-market plans.

In healthcare marketing, the stakes are high. With lengthy planning cycles, there is little tolerance for underperforming content assets. And the ever-changing regulatory and legal compliance can be challenging.

Yet, don’t let the fear – of a new medium or unfamiliar technology – prevent you from tapping into compelling business outcomes.

Using a familiar framework, you can intelligently evaluate AR for your marketing mix.

Strategically Evaluate AR for Healthcare Marketing

Just as you do in planning for any product release or marcom initiative, the fit of AR in your healthcare marketing is based on your business objectives, your buying audience and the potential use cases.

Focus on the the strengths of AR relative to your business and/or marketing objective.

AR Strengths Business Objectives
Engaging Increase awareness
Make the complicated simple Differentiate your offering
Simulate environments, processes, and product functions Cost-effective education


Consider the AR technology adoption cycle and your specific audience’s willingness to use the tool.

Generally speaking, research from Tech Pro indicates that 67% of enterprises are considering AR for future use at their organization, and 20% plan to use AR within the next 12 months.

And who do you market your product to? Is it a respiratory therapist, ER doctor or surgeon?

You can refer to the findings of research with doctors that demonstrates an interest in and vision for the future of AR in medicine if helpful.

Explore some exciting use cases for medical augmented reality apps.

Reviewing some medical augmented reality apps can help identify some of the many use cases you should consider.

Seven Examples of Medical AR Apps

1.   Case Western Reserve University is using AR for anatomical training, disrupting the 100 year, 2D model of teaching. Embracing what they call “the future of education” is fundamentally changing how medical students see and understand human anatomy.

Never before available simulations can also create productive opportunities for failure, not typically possible in healthcare.

AR Teaches Anatomy

2.   AccuVein is a handheld device that shows clinicians where a patient’s veins, valves and bifurcations are located. The business goals of using AR to deliver vein visualization impact patient satisfaction, cost control and improved clinical outcomes as by the data points below.


3.   University of Alabama Birmingham’s Virtual Interactive Presence and Augmented Reality app, known as VIPAAR, offers new opportunities for distance collaboration and mentoring.Using Google Glass, a remote surgeon can view the procedure in process and “is able to put [their] hands into the surgical field and provide collaboration and assistance.”

VIPAAR – and similar apps – have the power to transform telemedicine and expand the reach of expert consultations that can improve access to care and patient outcomes.

VIPAAR and Google Glass

4.   Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital tested Google Glass in the ER Department as early as 2013. Glass provides access to secure internal data while physicians treat patients as described by Dr. John Halamka, CIO on his blog.

Doctor Wearing Google Glass

Dr. Halamka describes the future of AR in medicine as being able “to truly deliver actionable information to clinicians in real time. We believe the ability to access and confirm clinical information at the bedside is one of the strongest features of Google Glass.”

5.   AED4EU is a mobile app that provides GPS-enabled information on the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to users in the EU. It is a geo-layer of data – much like Pokemon Go – overlaying a map that is an entry-level AR experience.

The objective is “saving lives by making AED’s accessible for everyone.”

Now a joint project of Radbound University Nijmegen Medical Centre and the Dutch Red Cross, AED4EU uses crowd-sourced information to document and verify locations of the life-saving AED devices.

  aed4eu-app AED4EU Mobile App

6.   The eyeCAD connect AR application saves time (improving clinical efficiency) and supports a better patient experience by projecting the digital model of the patient's mouth in the dentist’s field of view – without having to turn and look at a monitor.

eyeCAD Connect

7.   Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group (MITG), formerly Covidien, uses AR to better communicate product value and attract attention at clinical tradeshows.

Three-dimensional animated models showcase how Medtronic Nellcor pulse oximetry technology calculates reliable respiration rate values from a finger sensor by connecting evidence-based science and human physiology into a 3-minute booth experience.

AR Attracts at Medical Trade Show

With another augmented reality experience, clinical educators, respiratory therapists, physicians and anesthesiologists can interact with the Microstream Capnography Monitoring technology through the interactive hologram and see how carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen dioxide molecules in the exhaled gasses are accurately measured by the capnography technology.

These AR experiences helps clinicians better understand the technology and have led to pull through sales opportunities while increasing booth attendance 18% year over year.

These seven medical AR applications above represent a wide range of business objectives and use cases for healthcare. These can be a starting point to help uncover opportunities in your marketing mix.

Exploring how to use AR to educate and grow the business of healthcare through a strategic lens makes it clear why healthcare is expected to be a driver of the enterprise AR market.

It’s not about the technology. It is about the business of medicine.

B2B Marketers Guide - AR and VR Glossary of Terms

Image credits:


UAB News

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