BioSig Technologies Inc. is putting augmented reality to work, both in manufacturing and in the field. To overcome constraints encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is using Vuzix’s M400 Smart Glasses and augmented reality technology as part of Pure EP’s nationwide rollout. Pure EP is a computerized system intended for acquiring and processing electrocardiographic and intracardiac signals for patients undergoing electrophysiology (EP) procedures in an EP laboratory.
“BioSig needs the glasses to test product as it is coming off our manufacturing line,” Ken Londoner, BioSig’s CEO and chairman, told MD+DI. “BioSig is also using the glasses to aid our field engineers who are installing the system in hospital operating rooms. Lastly, we also intend on using the glasses to create training content for our clinical account managers to learn about our system while in the theater of action.”
The smart glasses provide real-time hands-on training for existing employees or onboarding new ones. “We have special software that either comes directly from Vuzix or our ISV partners that allow the easy creation of work instructions and or step by step training,” explained Paul Travers, CEO, president and founder of Vuzix. “The employee/customer who is learning the new task wears the glasses and they step him/her through how to do the particular function while they have hands on the equipment they are learning. So it is real-time hands-on training. Unlike a VR training solution that the user simply cannot actually do the job while 'learning it,' our solution is in the real world and very experiential. Making it hard to forget what you have learned. Also, if at any time they are having challenges, they can simply make a support call using the glasses to get help from a remote expert.”
Londoner reports that BioSig intends on taking the product into its labs at the Mayo Clinic “so we can learn how to potentially integrate it into a medical procedure to optimize workflows,” he said. “Mayo is also engineering ‘the lab of the future’ and may find their own uses for the glasses beyond electrophysiology products.”
According to a spokesperson, BioSig's PURE EP is currently installed in:
- Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center (Austin, TX)
- Mayo Clinic Florida Campus (Jacksonville, FL)
- University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
- Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
- Deborah Heart and Lung Center (Browns Mills, NJ)
- Overland Park Hospital (Overland Park, KS)
- Memorial Hospital (South Bend, IN)
- Houston Methodist Hospital (Houston, TX)
Travers sees other applications for the Vuzix’s M400 smart glasses, too. “There are many applications in diverse enterprise use cases from Medical to Remote Support to Auditing to Surgeries to …. Well, the list goes on and on. Smart glasses are the future of computing, and Enterprise is the initial battlefield where they are needed.” He pointed to recent white papers and webinars.
While social distancing guidelines during the pandemic may have encouraged adoption of the smart glasses, Travers believes that the need for remote servicing, training, and visualization will continue after the pandemic.
“Why send a person when you can accomplish a task faster, less expensively, greener and more planet-friendly by simply sending a pair of smart glasses,” said Travers. “The ROIs are big and our customers are thrilled with the results. Using smart glasses is going to change (actually is changing) how so many things get done and COVID just happens to be a driving force for it. Just like working at home is going to become a new normal. So is the use of smart glasses. It is all just getting started.”
The Vuzix M400 smart glasses feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform. The Snapdragon XR1 microprocessor enables a combination of voice and touchpad navigation for complete control over the device, Vuzix explained in a news release. The M400 Smart Glasses improve processes within many applications such as warehouse logistics, telemedicine, manufacturing, and field service. Vuzix was selected as one of the initial launch partners for the new Snapdragon XR1 platform, Vuzix reported.