Extended reality

Last revised by Vikas Shah on 29 Apr 2022

Extended reality, sometimes referred to as XR, is a term for technologies, such as those that include augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, that allow visualization of three dimensional virtual imaging. Although such technologies have their roots in art and computer gaming, they have been adapted for several uses in radiology and medical education in general. 

Virtual reality refers to technologies which allow complete immersion in a virtual (computer generated) environment, and may be useful for simulation and planning of medical procedures. Augmented reality allows elements of a virtual environment to be mapped into the real physical environment. Some sources use mixed reality and augmented reality synonymously, but some use the term mixed reality to refer only to interactive augmented reality. One emerging use for augmented reality specifically has been intra-procedural/intra-operative imaging. Extended reality is created through various specific technologies such as surface reconstruction and volume rendering algorithms and can be displayed in various ways e.g. holography. 

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