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Communicator of the Week: Why NHS doctors used a pair of Microsoft’s Hololens glasses

As a country boy with an obsession about the weather built into my DNA I am annoyed almost every day that, unlike in the Back To The Future prediction of the world in 2017, we aren’t yet able to predict to the minute the moment it will stop raining. 

This week’s award winner has me hoping once again that the future is one step nearer to arriving. 

Doctors on different sides of the world have worked together to successfully operate on an NHS patient removing a tumour from her bladder. While collaboration is an inherent part of science and medical progress, never before has an operation been conducted using virtual reality. 

Blue, human-shaped avatars joined Professor Shafi Ahmed in the operating theatre in the Royal London Hospital. All involved could see each other moving, could hold conversations and view scans floating above the operating theatre to ensure the operation went off without a hitch as if all involved were in the same room not thousands of miles apart. 

The miracle machine that allowed this to happen was Microsoft’s Hololens a pair of glasses with built in microphone and speakers which also display additional information as required. If you fancy a pair they’ll set you back £4,500. 

Lots is made of the potential of new technologies but Microsoft has managed to provide a hard and fast, relevant example of how they can make human lives better - something that often escapes even the most creative of communication teams. 

This is why Microsoft is my Communicator of the Week. Now where’s my umbrella...

Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.

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