This Startup Wants to Use the Apple Vision Pro for the Most Boring Part of Surgery

This story is part of our Chief Innovation Officer Forecast series with Quartz, a business report from the front lines of the future.

Earlier this month, a British hospital made headlines with the first surgery ever carried out with the assistance of an Apple Vision Pro, a $3,500 mixed reality headset. The nurses wearing Apple’s fancy goggles in the operating room were running software built by a company called eXeX. When you hear about a VR headset in surgery, it probably brings to mind floating 3D body parts or a display that tells doctors exactly where to place the scalpel. That’s not eXeX’s business. Instead, the company’s building tools for something that seems much more boring, at least at first: helping surgeons stay organized.

“People assume that surgical healthcare has got to be sophisticated and modern. The reality is the way we organize it is probably the most archaic of all the major industries on the planet,” said Robert Masson, MD, a practicing neurosurgeon and CEO of eXeX. “It’s all memorization and guesswork with scribbles on pieces of paper. It’s total chaos theory.”

According to Masson, surgical care is stuck in the distant past, with all of the work going towards groundbreaking treatments, but almost no focus on the most basic foundational standards that keep the process moving. It’s the little things: eXeX is setting up the surgery room, helping nurses keep track of which tools the doctor needs and when, and keeping documents organized. Streamlining these processes could amount to a revolution in healthcare, a revolution that is going to make someone a lot of money if they can develop a widely adopted platform.

Outside of the surgical process, eXeX’s main product runs on a table. But when the scrubs go on, a headset could be the ideal tool. We talked to Masson about how tools like the Apple Vision Pro could be the next big thing in healthcare.

(This interview has been edited for clarity and consistency.)

Gizmodo: Can you explain why the surgical environment is so behind when it comes to the presentation and organization of information? Healthcare is almost a trillion-dollar industry, how can it be this bad?

Robert Masson: If you look at how IT healthca

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