The fusion of real content and computer-generated images, sounds and sensory data characterizes augmented reality and distinguishes it from the completely artificial representation of virtual reality.
In healthcare, the benefits of these technologies were recognized early on. For example, computer representations for the development of new drugs, such as when viewing complex 3-D structures of molecules and DNA strands, are a great help to researchers through VR and AR.
But medical professionals have also long been using AR systems in everyday practice, both for planning and performing surgeries. In complex surgical procedures, for example, doctors can not only use VR and AR to plan interventions precisely, but also to optimize precise navigation within sensitive structures.