While AR and VR are rapidly transforming various industries and reshaping the way we engage with the world, they have yet not become a commonplace and daily tool for the masses; but don’t fret that day is coming! Founded in 2016, California-based ILLUSIO is using 3Daugmentedrealitytechnology with real-time morphing animation, providing a platform for plastic surgeons and their patients to visually communicate. ILLUSIO’s technology offers the world’s finest Board Certified plastic surgeons a remarkable new tool to provide their patients with stunningly accurate augmented reality imagery that reveals how the results of breastaugmentation surgery will actually look on their own bodies. This is done by combining a fluid and lifelike 3D virtual image of the patient’s breasts with a live image of their face and body to transform an iPad into a virtual mirror. With ILLUSIO’s technology, surgeons are able to easily manipulate 'virtual breasts' on a patient prospect to quickly replicate any real-life breast characteristics. Patients can see themselves on a large video screen with their new enhanced 'virtual breasts'. The patients can turn side-to-side and experience what their 'new' breasts would look like as their surgeon makes adjustments to the size and shape of their breasts. Again, the visualization systems are designed to function on tablets, any computer with a webcam and also optimized for mobile devices.With the addition of both virtual mirror and real-time deformers, patients and surgeons can now communicate visually which adds to a greater understanding by both parties. This gives patients and surgeons confidence that their desired outcomes are understood, aligned and attainable. "We believe that any verbal discussion between two or more parties can most likely be improved with the addition of visual aids and demonstrations seen in real time, and overlaid on the real world. It changes a conversation into an experience", says Ethan Winner, CEO, and Co-Founder of ILLUSIO.
Any verbal discussion between two or more parties can most likely be improved with the addition of visual aids and demonstrations seen in real time, and overlaid on the real world. It changes a conversation into an experience
Prior to ILLUSIO, Ethan was a global communications executive specializing in reputation and brand management for both professional services and consumer-oriented companies. At ILLUSIO, he leads the team and manages day-to-day operations of the company. "I treat everything as a team effort with the understanding that I have the final say. However, when done properly it seems that every decision is a team decision. This means that there needs to be an extremely functional communications strategy and openness to reflect upon all points of view. I love working this way. It also makes people happy and feel good about themselves, which adds value to the company", elaborates Winner. With the strong sense of accountability towards their investors, Ethan is at the forefront for building new solid strategies, being nimble, reaching end goals, scaling the business and help it reach newer heights. "Everything that we do is market driven. Our early beta version was far inferior to what we have today and it was entirely driven through market forces. We anticipate that almost everything that we do will have to be iterative in nature as we are creating something new and it would be absolutely idiotic to presume that we know how the market will respond with each new development".
This is profound advice, and as Ethan rightly puts it, "Being an entrepreneur is definitely about fundraising and fiscal accountability as much as it is about invention and development". When Ethan is not working on solving problems and driving business growth, he can be found outdoors on the golf course or training on an aerobic regiment for all the three disciplines of a triathlon.
Next Generation Computer Imaging
Through its augmented reality platform, ILLUSIO brings unique benefits to patients as well as the surgeons. Other solutions simply attempt to simulate surgery outcomes on mannequins or before-after pictures of other women. ILLUSIO allows patients to see the actual appearance of their new breasts on their own bodies. With ILLUSIO, patients have the opportunity to work with their surgeon to evaluate what different sizes and types of implant options will look on their own body. Decide the right look for themselves along with the flexibility to experience (with the app) in the privacy of their own home. ILLUSIO thus takes the guessing out of the process or disappointment with the outcome of surgery to allow one to decide with confidence what surgery is right for them. "We also offer women who are interested in information on breast augmentation, our online virtual mirror application", shares Winner. For surgeons the quick easy-to-use setup that only requires a simple iPad or Android tablet with a stand, allows them to spend time with each patient on what matters most—controlling their expectations, limiting their anxiety and offering better care.
When ILLUSIO first became available, surgeons saw an immediate increase in their surgery rates and positive patient reviews. Since then, ILLUSIO has now been introduced to plastic surgery offices across the country. "We are using augmented reality as a tool to enable better functionality in a communications software offering, we find ourselves having to build expertise in numerous areas from technology to operations to many areas specific to the medical industry and more specifically, the world of aesthetic and plastic surgery", says Winner.
Ethan Winner, CEO & Co-founder, ILLUSIO
Likewise, the company intends it's mastectomy simulation to be utilized when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. There are terrific psychological benefits from seeing a virtual simulation of mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery all the way through the healing process.
By building its technology continually, ILLUSIO envisions becoming an important component to every patient who consults for breast augmentation. With several use-cases, they intend on becoming a dominant augmented reality software company in medical simulations.