Virtual reality and cosmetic surgery with Google Cardboard

Your smartphone can be a virtual reality headset

Google cardboard was unveiled at the 2014 developers conference and made a giant stir by showing the world that virtual reality is accessible and relatively inexpensive.  A piece of folded cardboard becomes a headset when combined with an app platform that can show virtual tours, immersive video, and interactive 3D simulations.

Virtual reality and cosmetic surgery comes together

Surgeons have used reconstructed 3-dimensional images for years now, to aid in visualization of complex anatomic structures and in planning of surgery approaches.  Many standard CT scans can be formatted in 3D and manipulated on computer screens, but these are displayed in 2D.  With a VR headset, the 3D images come to life and can be rotated and studied from any angle.  For cosmetic surgery, where shape, perspective, and relationships are crucial, virtual reality is a powerful evaluation and planning tool.

Imagine walking into your doctor’s office…

Your 3D photo is taken and sophisticated software changes the shape of your face, morphing your cheeks and under-eyes to re-create the appearance you had 10 years ago.  Almost instantly, your image is uploaded to a virtual reality headset and your doctor inspects the changes from every angle.  Slight adjustments are made and the data is sent to a 3D printer that creates a customized implant that is instantly injected under your skin, making the simulated rejuvenation a reality.

This scenario isn’t far away.