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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Postgrad Med J

Publication Date



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