Computer software company Illusio Imaging has announced an augmented reality system that utilises computer imaging software to accurately show patients how cosmetic surgery could alter their body.

The Illusio imaging system creates what the company describes as a "virtual mirror" on either an iPad or Android tablet by overlaying a 360-degree 3D image of the potential physical changes post-surgery. The augmented image, captured without the need for photographic or scanning equipment, can be sculpted in real-time by the surgeon within a bespoke application that uses artistic controllers to imagine "pre- and post-op results in just a few minutes".

llusio Imaging claims that the system allows patients to turn from side-to-side within the virtual image within a "fluid" and "realistic" visualisation of the intended surgery and that it will even have the capability of picturing how the cosmetic adjustments might appear under clothing.

While Illusio has only currently been designed to image breast implant surgery, the Californian company notes on its website that it is in the process of designing additional procedures, with "tummy tucks" a possibility for later this year.

Without the need for a dedicated computer, Illusio boasts that the system offers a significant benefit for both surgeons looking to show clients a tangible, real-time demonstration of the potential outcome of cosmetic surgery, but also the patients themselves who will be able to "decide with confidence" what surgical option suits their desires.

"With Illusio, I am now communicating with my patients better than ever before" stated Dr Kyle Song, chief medical officer and co-founder of Illusio Imaging. "This is because we're no longer constrained by before and after pictures of other patients and the need to explain why the results of one patient very from another. Now, we can show them how their bodies are transformed and walk them through a real-time demo of the potential results based on numerous implant types and sizes."

Illusio will be presented at the 2016 American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons' aesthetic meeting in Las Vegas between the 4-6 April.

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are gradually being adopted by the healthcare industry with systems such as AccuVein and even the recent study that discovered that "virtual" therapy could help those suffering with anxiety and depression.

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