Disaster and war zones demand some of the most urgent and specialized medical attention, yet reliable and professional medical attention is hard to come by in these settings. What can be done for those who have experienced combat or trauma injuries when medical experts aren’t at the scene? Researchers at Purdue University may have found an answer.

The researchers have devised an AR headset that can be used by new doctors in combat situations, natural disasters, or in rural areas to connect them to an experienced mentor who can guide them through emergency medical procedures. Without the need for a separate screen, mentees can see instructions given by healthcare professionals drawn straight onto their patient, helping them to reduce errors and learn life-saving skills on the job.

Do you think this device has potential for other remote learning opportunities, or do you think it should exclusively be used in emergency scenarios where options are most limited? Join the discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion:

@00:50 Morgan Platt: I can also see another potential for using a drone to capture a feed of the field in which high risk actions are being performed. Perhaps in emergency scenarios where compromised security is a concern.

@00:55 Rob Crawford: This is currently best for training, but maybe in the future everyone will have a headset, in which case this could be very useful during a medical emergency (when a doctor isn't available).

@01:01 Rebecca Sullivan: While I see how an expert opinion is valuable, I'm concerned that the person directing the surgery cannot touch or hear the patient. There could be vital information that is not accurately communicated through the AR. I think this tool could be more helpful for teaching than live response. If I were injured, I would rather have the expert as the first-responder and the novice watching in on the screen.