An Apple Vision Pro headset helped this Brazilian surgeon repair an injured shoulder like never before

Apple Vision Pro demo appointment - on tray, cover removed
(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / Future)

The Apple Vision Pro might only be officially on sale in the United States, but it's already started to pop up in unusual places all around the world. Following the news that a UK surgeon had employed Apple's spatial computer to help him do his job, a Brazilian surgeon has now done something similar.

While the UK surgeon used the Apple Vision Pro to assist his team when carrying out spinal surgery, a new report details how the headset has helped a Brazilian surgeon repair a damaged shoulder. Apple has already suggested that its headset could be of great use in a medical setting and it seems that some hospitals are only too keen to put that to the test.

In this instance, orthopedic doctor Bruno Gobbato and his team at Hospital Jaraguá, in Jaraguá do Sul used the headset to perform a shoulder arthroscopy surgery on a patient with a rotator cuff tear. And it's possible it could make an appearance in other surgical rooms and hospitals around the world, too.

Real-time 3D models

Speaking with MacMagazine, surgeon Gobbato explained what makes the Apple Vision Pro so useful when carrying out surgeries, especially ones like this. The use of real-time 3D models and screen mirroring meant that information was always available when it was needed and in a format that wouldn't normally be possible. Having an adjustable, free-floating display showing what the surgical camera could see was vital, too.

"Shoulder arthroscopy surgery uses a camera inside the joint and surgeons perform this surgery by looking directly at a screen," Gobbato explained. "With this device, it was possible to place the screen in cinema size with high resolution, in addition to being able to count on patient exams and 3D models in real time."

The Apple Vision Pro's own camera also came in for some praise. The surgeon noted that the use of strong lights in a dark operating theater had the potential to cause problems for the headset's various cameras. No problems were experienced, however. That's notable given one of the issues some early Apple Vision Pro reviewers noted related to the cameras and their pass-through performance in darker environments.

All of this is of course very impressive, but the real question on everyone's lips isn't whether or not a surgeon can repair a shoulder using an Apple Vision Pro — it's when they'll be able to get one of their very own to do much more mundane things with. Apple has already confirmed that a global rollout will happen before 2024 draws to a close, but that's all we have so far. And with no firm dates or information on which countries will be included, all bets are currently off.

There's also a question mark over pricing. The Apple Vision Pro currently starts at $3,499 which is prohibitively expensive. Apple is already thought to be working on a new, cheaper alternative but it isn't yet known how it will make that happen — which features will be removed is a key consideration here, as is timing. The cheaper Apple Vision Pro isn't expected to arrive any time soon, although information is currently hard to come by.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.