Texas Hospital Pioneers Hologram Technology for Doctor-Patient Consultations

Texas hospital pioneers "Holobox" tech, enabling real-time holographic doctor visits for remote consultations.

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A hospital in Texas might become the first in the United States to utilize technology that enables doctors to visit patients via hologram.

Crescent Regional Hospital, situated in Lancaster, approximately 13 miles south of Dallas, has installed the “Holobox,” a 3D system projecting a life-sized hologram of a doctor. This allows for real-time consultations with patients at a clinic 30 miles away.

Created by Dutch company Holoconnects, the display stands 86 inches tall and only needs electricity and internet to connect, according to the company.

The box features anti-glare glass and a transparent LCD screen for a realistic, life-sized holographic display, along with hi-fi speakers and a multi-touch operating system, as described on Holoconnects’ website. The hologram can display either pre-recorded or live real-time video of people.

“There’s so much artificial intelligence, robotic technology, so many things,” Crescent Regional Hospital CEO Raji Kumar told ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas. “So, I’m super excited to be able to bring some of this technology to North Texas.”

Steve Sterling, managing director of Holoconnects for North America, explained that the company developed the “Doctor-Patient Hologram Engagement System” to enable medical facilities and healthcare practitioners to engage with patients remotely.

“It has the potential to revolutionize the access and sense of relationship between patients and their healthcare professionals,” Sterling told ABC News via email. “We can provide real-time, life-like access from distant locations, offering patients access to specialty care from anywhere in the world and also saving doctors one of their most precious commodities—time!”

He believes Crescent Regional is the first hospital in the U.S. to adopt a technology like Holobox.

Kumar noted that the technology helps reduce doctors’ travel time between Crescent Regional and the hospital’s clinic in Farmers Branch, about 30 miles away.

Doctors can now communicate with patients via hologram instead of driving between the hospital and clinic for pre-op, post-op, or follow-up appointments, according to WFAA.

“Our doctors on the north side of town don’t have to drive 30 miles to see one of their patients,” Kumar told WFAA. “They can just hop into the studio and have the consult.”

She plans to install more studios throughout the hospital and in doctors’ offices to facilitate more holographic visits. Kumar also expressed a desire to bring the technology to rural hospitals.

“I plan to give it as a service to rural hospitals,” Kumar said. “To say, ‘Hey, I’ve got all the specialists on board. I will give you the box, I’ll take care of the camera setups for my specialists.'”

“I’m actually trying to do a mini box in a mobile van, so I could take it to underserved areas, okay, where there’s no specialist help,” she added.

Sterling said he hopes more hospitals will adopt similar hologram programs. Holoconnects is also working to deploy the Holobox Mini, which features a 22-inch interactive touch-screen display and is more easily transported.

“Doctor shortage areas are everywhere, and healthcare facilities are closing, so if we can do anything to help make access to care and engagement with healthcare professionals more productive and satisfying for both patients and doctors, this will be a very satisfying result for us,” he said.

Source: ABCnews

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