Purpose of review: Advances in display technology and computing have led to new devices capable of overlaying digital information onto the physical world or incorporating aspects of the physical world into virtual scenes. These combinations of digital and physical environments are referred to as extended realities. Extended reality (XR) devices offer many advantages for medical applications including realistic 3D visualization and touch-free interfaces that can be used in sterile environments. This review introduces extended reality and describes how it can be applied to medical practice. Recent findings: The 3D displays of extended reality devices are valuable in situations where spatial information such as patient anatomy and medical instrument position is important. Applications that take advantage of these 3D capabilities include teaching and pre-operative planning. The utility of extended reality during interventional procedures has been demonstrated with through 3D visualizations of patient anatomy, scar visualization, and real-time catheter tracking with touch-free software control. Summary: Extended reality devices have been applied to education, pre-procedural planning, and cardiac interventions. These devices excel in settings where traditional devices are difficult to use, such as in the cardiac catheterization lab. New applications of extended reality in cardiology will continue to emerge as the technology improves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Display technology
  • Extended reality devices
  • Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Extended Reality in Medical Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this