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Augmented reality in surgical training: a systematic review
  1. Matthew Adam Williams1,
  2. James McVeigh1,
  3. Ashok Inderraj Handa2,
  4. Regent Lee2
  1. 1St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Matthew Adam Williams, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UJ, UK; matthew.williams{at}


The aim of this systematic review is to provide an update on the current state of augmented reality (AR) in surgical training and to further report on any described benefits compared with traditional techniques. A PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) strategy was adopted to formulate an appropriate research question and define strict search terms to be entered into MEDLINE, CENTRAL and Google Scholar. The search was returned on 12/09/2019. All returned results were screened first by title and then abstract. The systematic search returned a total of 236 results, of which 18 were selected for final inclusion. Studies covered the full range of surgical disciplines and reported on outcomes including operative duration, accuracy and postoperative complication rates. Due to the heterogeneity of the collected data, no meta-analysis was possible. Outcome measures of competency, surgical opinion and postoperative complication rate were in favour of AR technology while operative duration appears to increase.

  • surgery
  • education & training (see medical education & training)

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  • Contributors MAW: concept, data collection, first reviewer, first draft of manuscript and revisions. JM: data collection second reviewer and first draft of manuscript. AIH: sponsor, manuscript draft edits and revisions. RL: concept, design and data collection third reviewer for discrepancies.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.