History of AR - Augmented Reality

History of AR

Even before the advent of the scientific method, artists sought ways to visualize the inner workings of the human body. While the anatomical drawings of Leonardo are well known, other artists like Vesalius made detailed drawings of the body and its constituent organs prior to the Reformation. Extremely detailed wax models of anatomy were produced in Italy prior to 1500, now kept in Florence's Museo La Specola. The enlightenment era fostered the growth of medical illustration, aided by increased access to print technology, and medical engravings became one of the most common methods to distribute valuable medical information. Jean Baptiste Marc Bourgery's (1797–1849) Atlas of Anatomy was a landmark in the field of medical illustration, with an extensive set of detailed hand colored lithographs. A Manual of the Operations of Surgery, produced by Joseph Bell, inspired his colleague Arthur Conan Doyle to write stories that would detail Sherlock Holmes' forensic methods. Gray's Anatomy, known throughout the world as a touchstone of medical illustration, was first published in 1858. Max Brodel was a major contributor to the art and science of medical illustration in the twentieth century, advancing the reputation of Johns Hopkins University with his association with America's finest surgeons of his time.

Timeline of Medical AR Milestones

  • 1500 Wax anatomical models produced in Italy
  • 1510 Leonardo anatomical drawings
  • 1543 Vesalius, On the fabric of the Human Body
  • 1830 Jean Baptiste Marc Bourgery's (1797–1849) Atlas of Anatomy
  • 1853 Desormeaux developed the first effective open-tube endoscope.
  • 1858 Gray's Anatomy first published.
  • 1895 X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen.
  • 1895 Max Brodel begins work at Johns Hopkins University
  • 1946 Bloch and Purcell independently discover magnetic resonance
  • 1956 Obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown developed the first ultrasound systems.
  • 1968 Ivan Sutherland's development of the first head mounted display system.
  • 1974 Myron Krueger's Videoplace, an immersive Artificial Reality Laboratory, used video projectors with onscreen silhouettes to surround viewers with a real time, interactive environment.
  • 1990 Tom Caudell, a researcher at Boeing, coins the term, 'Augmented Reality'
  • 1992 Virtual Fixtures, an AR system developed for the Air Force by Louis Rosenberg, allows for interactive remote control of virtual machinery.
  • 1994 'Dancing in Cyberspace', the first Augmented Reality theatrical production, created by Julie Martin, features an integrated spectacle of live action and virtual objects.
  • 1998 Augmented Reality makes its way onto mainstream television with the first broadcast of the first down marker during a live NFL game.
  • 1999 A hybrid synthetic vision system is employed for the enhanced navigation of NASA's X-38 spacecraft
  • 2000 Hirokazu Kato's ARToolkit uses video tracking to overlay 3D computer graphics onto a video camera. The open source library is still widely used today.
  • 2003 Sportvision enhances its first down marker for the new football season by integrating it with the Skycam, the aerial mobile camera employed in stadiums throughout the country.
  • 2009 DDA develops its first Augmented Reality project.

Another branch of learning that will play an important role in the development of Augmented Reality for Medicine is the technologically-based display systems such as the microscope and the x-ray. Direct visual evidence from the patient has emerged in the twentieth century with the MRI, ultrasound, endoscopy and other techniques that derive photographic or other types of information that are not schematic representations such as the illustration, but are direct evidence of the systems and cells of the human body.

Augmented Reality is a 3D interface that can be used in association with a smartphone, tablet, or a hands-free device. As a highly flexible and adaptive visualization system, it is unrivalled in its ability to coordinate all types of visual representation into a readily accessible, interactive format, whether it involves modern illustration methods, including 3D computer modeling and animation, or direct medical imaging such as the MRI and endoscopic footage from medical examinations. The immersive qualities of AR and its capacity to deliver high resolution graphics in real time, as well as an unprecedented level of interactivity with the virtual setting, make it ideal for many types of medically based Augmented Reality software applications. As an award winning developer of mobile apps for the health care and medical industries, DDA is pleased to provide support, inspiration, and guidance into the AR landscape, and to give some indication of its potential in the immediate future.

DDA is uniquely qualified to address the interests and concerns of the medical profession in the development of AR concepts. We have been involved with custom software design and programming from the inception of the internet and developed our first AR project back in 2009. The advent of widespread use of online devices for all types of applications, along with Apple's introduction of ARKit and other AR platforms, has made the development of Augmented Reality experiences an emerging opportunity across the entire spectrum of medical software, from advanced training to patient education, hospital administration, and much more. Our facility, conveniently located in the Philadelphia suburbs, features an extensive set of in-house capabilities. Our vertically integrated structure, comprised of seasoned professionals using state-of-the-art technology, can address any development challenge, whether it includes video, 3D computer animation, database management, e-learning portals and more. Because we keep all of our work in-house, we can avoid inefficiencies in production and provide a completely integrated and cost effective result that exceeds our clients' expectations and provides a memorable, engaging, and informative end user experience. If you would like to know more about how Augmented Reality is going to change medical imaging and our relationship to it, let's arrange a time to sit down and discuss the many possibilities.

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