Medical drone integrates augmented reality

October 27, 2017  - By
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A telemedical drone system with holographic technology can quickly put emergency physicians and lifesaving medical supplies in the hands of disaster survivors. The Telemedical Drone Project, known as HiRO (Health Integrated Rescue Operations), is being tested to support the Mississippi Department of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, the National Guard and NATO.

Screenshot from HiRO video. (Courtesy of Paul Cooper)

It is expected to be production-ready in early 2018.

HiRO provides immediate access to a physician through a wireless video connection. When the portable critical care kit arrives, the doctor appears on a touchscreen display to direct treatment.

Smart glasses allow a person on scene to move away from the kit while maintaining audio and visual contact with the physician. Holographic technology lets the physician to see the disaster scene and direct care through a hands-free, motion-enabled augmented reality headset.

Osteopathic physicians Italo Subbarao and Paul Cooper partnered with Dennis Lott, director of the UAV program at Hinds Community College in Mississippi, to design and build a next-generation disaster drone.

“These drones have impressive lift and distance capability, and can be outfitted with a variety of sensors, such as infrared, to help locate victims,” Lott said.

HiRO drone and telemedical kit

  • Augmented reality (AR) operating on a Microsoft HoloLens headset enables a remote physician to treat multiple victims.
  • Automated medication bin allows remote physician to unlock specific compartments, giving bystanders safe access to medications and equipment supported by video guidance from the doctor.
  • Integrated holographic electronic health record system display helps remote physician monitor multiple patients in the field.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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