MedicAR – Surgical Glassware with Augmented Reality at Stanford University Medical Center




Augmented Reality with Google Glass for Surgeons

Augmented Reality with Google Glass for Surgeons

Droiders, an official Google Glass applications development start-up, today launched MedicAR, a new application which combines augmented reality and Google Glass™ to improve the simulation and teaching of certain procedures in surgery and patient care.

The MedicAR application also represents a potential new aid to improve safety issues in surgical interventions, especially for common procedures among junior surgeons and even for uncommon ones among experts.

During a recent demonstration, Dr. Homero Rivas, assistant professor of surgery (digestive surgery) and director of innovative surgery at Stanford University, connected the wearable device from Google to Droiders’ MedicAR application, and using an anatomical human model, performed an open reduction and internal fixation of a left complex clavicular fracture.

The demonstration took place in the Goodman Simulation Center at Stanford. A video of the MedicAR demonstration is available here:


Featuring Dr. Homero Rivas, Assistant professor of surgery and director of innovative surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Video Transcript

This video will show the use of Glass and augmented reality in the operating room. 
This is a fascinating technology that we’ve already implemented on mobile phones, especially with simulation and teaching and now it’s being implemented on wearable technology such as Glass.
This requires a target sign that can be tattooed on a patient skin along with the Droiders’ software of augmented reality for Glass.
The surgeon and assistant can direct their Glass to the target sign and the augmented reality will show up on their screen showing all aspect of a given surgery.
Step by step procedures will be clearly shown, from skin incision to the use of retractor to give adequate exposure, identification of critical anatomical structures, the core surgical treatment and then the closure of the incision.
The use of augmented reality on Glass is truly a game changer on simulation and live teaching, inside and outside the operating theatre. Not only this, but it also represents a unique aid to improve safety issues, especially for common ones among juniors surgeons and even for uncommon procedures among experts.
Additionally customization of augmented reality can be implemented on individual patients created from their own imaging studies in order to plan and execute more accurate and safer surgical procedures.


There are countless applications for Glass and augmented reality in healthcare.

Dr Homero Rivas

Dr Homero Rivas – Stanford University Medical Center

The MedicAR application requires a target to be temporarily tattooed on the patient’s skin.

The surgeon and his assistant then direct their Glass to the target, which reveals the augmented reality on their screen, showing all aspects of a given surgery.

Afterwards, procedures are clearly displayed step by step.

For example, it could start by displaying the skin incision, the use of retractors to provide adequate exposure of the area, the core surgical treatment and finally the closure of the incision.

The project we are revealing today was the next logical step in our collaborative efforts with Dr. Rivas. We teamed up last summer to perform a transatlantic live-streamed operation through Glass, a first in telemedicine at the time, using our own streaming solution.

Julian Beltran

Julian Beltran – founder of Droiders

Shortly after, we were among the very first Glass developers to introduce augmented reality into Glassware

Droiders’ MedicAR application for Glass uses Qualcomm® Vuforia™, a software platform that enables apps to see and connect digital experiences to physical products.

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