Extended Reality for Health Care Systems: Recent Advances in Contemporary Research

Extended Reality for Health Care Systems: Recent Advances in Contemporary Research 150 150 IEEE Pulse

1st Edition, Edited by Samiya Khan, Mansaf Alam, Shoaib Banday, and Mohammed Usta, Academic Press, Oct. 18, 2022, ISBN: 9780323983815, xvii + 284 pages, $160

Having worked with patient simulator systems, and at this point having used an oculus system to explore various virtual reality (VR) recordings for several months, this reviewer thought the above title might be worth reading and reviewing for the readers of IEEE Pulse. Per the publisher’s website advertising, the readership of this text might be “Extended reality technologists and engineers, students in biomedical engineering and extended reality, Instrumentation and measurement technologist and engineers, Computer Scientist; Health care professionals with an interest in using extended reality in surgery.” From the preface, we are promised an “elaborate introduction to extended reality,” a discussion of “future research, potential impacts, and benefits and benefits of XR adoption in health care” (XR is here defined as extended reality), as well as cases and case studies relating to the technology. The text comprises 15 chapters contributed by 34 individuals, two of whom are among the four named editors. A brief review of the chapters follows.

Chapter 1, “Extended reality: Bringing the 3Rs Together,” gives the reader a one-page history of the field, and defines VR (360° experience, interactive, and realtime), augmented reality (AR, VR with overlays or additions, such as data), mixed reality (MR, per the term), and XR (per the title of this text, various combination of the prior terms). This information is reasonably detailed in a one-page table listing features of each, platforms, devices used, and prospective uses. Brief mention is made of haptic and biofeedback technologies as well as development platforms. Chapter 2, “Clinical applications of extended reality,” gives a very generic 12-page overview of XR in the areas of mental health, mental well-being, pain management, and physiotherapy. Chapter 3, “The role of innovative telehealth system in revolutionizing health care,” attempts to give an overview of the history of telemedicine and an increased need for such endeavors during COVID. There does not appear to be any useful attempt to link the chapter material to the book title. The reader may also be taken aback from some of the text material, such as “telemedicine securely transports health care from the hospital or clinic to the patient’s house and makes them overcome their sickness” (Section 3.6, page 42).

Chapter 4, “Next-generation technologically empowered telehealth systems,” submits a listing of health care quality indicators for 85 nations, lightly discusses telehealth uses for asthma, anxiety, heart health, and loneliness, mentions smartwatches, and submits that 5G and 6G technologies with make telehealth (along with AI) a significant contributor to health care technology. Chapter 5, “Extended reality for patient recovery and wellness,” informs the reader that “Trivial applications of immersive technologies such as surgical training and surgical practice are typical and widely researched” (page 77). The remainder of the chapter is basically a summary listing of three literature searches, such as “patient recovery or wellness” AND (XR or VR or AR or ER), another on related patents, and a final relating to technical standards. The keyword relationship maps for these searches are presented in three completely unreadable figures (page 90). Chapter 6, “Role of virtual reality for health care education,” once again defines VR, and specific uses, such as “Physicians are now playing with VR, …” (page 97), as well as generically in a 20-item five-page table outlining VR uses, most of which have been touched on in earlier chapters. Chapter 7, “Extended reality for development of clinical skills,” very briefly gives an overview of medical education and training uses (two pages) and patient-focused education (four pages) in a 10-page chapter. Chapter 8, “AR/VR telehealth platforms for remote procedural training,” again reviews the subject of telemedicine in a generic fashion.

Chapter 9, “Envisioning big data in IoT with augmented and virtual reality: challenges, opportunities, and virtual solutions,” introduces the reader to the author’s concept of “edge layer” data sources (patient devices to tourism information), “fog layer” (data collection level), and “cloud layer” data display (such as AR/VR). This is another generic presentation lacking in direct applicability to the title of the text. Chapter 10, “Evolution and contribution of extended reality in smart health care systems: toward a data-centric intelligent health care approach,” is a 41-page chapter (eight of which are references) that finally is completely relevant to the text title. A one-page listing of XR technology sources is useful. This is followed by a four-page overview of XR is health care applications, then by 30 pages of example applications, then three pages of conclusions and predictions for the technology. Chapter 11, “Heart disease prediction with machine learning and virtual reality: From future perspective,” attempts to introduce the reader to machine learning and diagnosis and its relevance to VR but fails to do so. Chapter 12, “Extended reality and edge AI for health care 4.0: systematic study,” repeats some of the material in Chapter 9, but now terms the computing layer as “edge AI” in conjunction with “health care 4.0” (i.e., the current state of the art in health care). Chapter 13, “A miniaturized multilayer triband off-body antenna for heterogenous applications in Internet of Medical Things,” gives design details and test data for a proposed tri-frequency antenna for data transmission use (12 pages). Again, not overly relevant to the text title. Chapter 14, “Economic impact of XR adoption on health care services,” gives a brief overview (10 pages total) of lessened costs of service delivery (via telemedicine and/or preprogrammed scenarios not requiring MD intervention), improved patient outcomes (exercise therapy, for example), and improved access to services and training. Chapter 15, “The future of XR-empowered health care: Roadmap for 2050,” informs the reader that XR seems to work, while considerations such as clinical governance, safety, cybersecurity, and clinical validation need to be addressed, but that there definitely is a need for increased use of XR in health care.

Overall recommendation: not a high-priority purchase due to overlap between chapters and lack of focus on specifics that could assist a new user in developing applications in the field.

—Reviewed by Paul H. King Vanderbilt University