6 Ways of Healthcare Transformation with Medical Virtual Reality in 2020

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6 Ways of Healthcare Transformation with Medical Virtual Reality in 2020

September 30
01:54 2020
6 Ways of Healthcare Transformation with Medical Virtual Reality in 2020

Did you know that swimming with whales in the ocean while lying in a hospital bed is possible? Have you imagined experiencing your 74th birthday as a 20-something? Perhaps follow a risky surgery from your couch? Virtual reality started its fascinating take-over of healthcare for the greatest pleasure of patients and doctors alike.

Medical VR is an area with fascinating possibilities. It has moved the imagination of science-fiction fans and clinical researchers, and real-life medical practitioners. Although the field is relatively new, there are increasingly great examples of VR having a positive effect on patients’ lives and physicians’ work.

Virtual Reality (VR) completely replaces a user’s view with a different scene, such as a video game or a film of a rollercoaster ride. Augmented Reality (AR) differs in that rather than replacing the user’s view of the real world; it enhances it by superimposing information or rendered 3D elements into the scene. Here are six great examples of medical VR transforming patients for pain management and other medical issues.

VR and AR smart devices are already proving to be cheaper and more accessible in treating, curing, and advancing the understanding of illnesses, conditions, and diseases compared to other treatments and technologies. A report from grant view search, a market research and consulting company based in the U.S., states that VR and AR’s global healthcare market is expected to grow to an estimated $5.1 billion by 2025.

Virtual Reality and Medical Surgery

New visualization techniques facilitate the surgeon’s capabilities and open a broader spectrum of opportunities at the pre-operative stage. Virtual reality has been a hot topic among some top medical and pharmaceutical companies finding technology usage in the healthcare industry, starting from clinical applications to those aimed at patients.

By next year, 2023, the global market could be worth $3.8 billion, according to an Arizton Report. Let’s discuss some of the fascinating VR use cases and benefits for doctors and patients.

Revolutionizing Applications of VR in Healthcare

There are various ways the technology can be used to aid medical specialists, from surgery to meditation. Here are some of the fascinating things that are happening in the industry right now.

1. Virtual Reality and Surgery

New visualization techniques facilitate the surgeon’s capabilities and open a broader spectrum of opportunities at the pre-operative stage. Virtual surgery comes in the form of conducting a medical operation on the three-dimensional virtual model of a patient through VR technologies for the healthcare industry.

These virtual exercises allow the surgeon to learn skills and gain knowledge without putting real patients at risk and receive clear feedback from their actions.

Working with a 3D model helps doctors learn and master new medical techniques and experiment with cutting-edge solutions in the surgery field.

2. Virtual Reality for Pain Management

Some physicians offer the usage of VR headsets that allow patients in pain the freedom to escape from reality and be transported to another emotional space. It’s essential to start with a two-step approach:

  • Analyzing patients with specific clinical indications that would benefit from the use of VR
  • Assessing patients for potential risk factors

Successful implementation of VR for pain management depends on wisely deciding who and where the patients need VR medical assistance.

As virtual reality continues its rise in prominence in the tech world, more and more stunning applications in the healthcare field will appear. We are at the very beginning of a technological revolution, and as ever, medicine is one of the industries that will reap the most dramatic benefits.

3. Virtual Reality and Meditation

Neurobiologists keep repeating how good meditation is, but most people still don’t find much time or motivation to sit and meditate. That’s where VR comes into play. There’s nothing easier than sit, use VR goggles and meditate.

Virtual reality offers guided meditation with a unique experience to get immersed in a VR journey, interact with the environment, and become relaxed. It is reached by rich auditory experience, visual and tactile means, and voice.

4. Virtual Reality and Psychological Therapy

Virtual reality is a therapeutic tool in the treatment of psychological disorders. Compared to traditional treatments, VR has many advantages. First of all, it forms a protected environment for the patient to re-experience situations that had an influence.

Successful cases in psychological therapy have been traced in different psychological disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, help with those with autism, and much more.

5. PTSD and Phobia Therapy

VR has been proven to be an effective way of treating phobias. A study reported in The Lancet Psychiatry shows how using VR led to significant improvements in those suffering from a fear of heights. Half of the 100 adults in the study wore a VR headset for half an hour, three times a week for a fortnight, while the other half received no specific treatment.

The VR activity involved an avatar coach assessing inviting the individual to choose a virtual building floor and asking them to perform various activities involving heights, such as rescuing a cat from a tree. After the study, those using VR self-reported their fear of heights falling by around 70 percent on average.

6. Virtual Reality and Education

Teaching anatomy for medical students is another application of virtual reality. Learning with a 3D human body object gives comfortable and precise manipulation opportunities without the fear of making a mistake.

Also, introducing virtual reality to the education process limits any geographical boundaries and provides access to knowledge from any remote location in the world. Students can practice particular tasks in infinite ways, for example, zooming in, highlighting, and labeling. Quizzes and demonstrations can be embedded into the programmer creating a self-running learning environment.

The Future of VR in Healthcare

Many of the applications mentioned above are still in their infancy. In the coming years, VR will be used to improve the accuracy & effectiveness of current procedures and enhance the human being’s capabilities, both as the caregiver and the patient. Quite simply, the potential for VR in the healthcare sector is vast, limited only by the creativity & ingenuity of those creating and applying the technology.

Conclusion

Like any other disruptive technology, AR and VR will also take some time to become mainstream to overcome various barriers. The medical professionals, as well as patients, should be ready to embrace the change. When we talk about XR adoption, it can be safely said that we’re getting there.

Top technology giants, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Oculus, Facebook, Amazon, and many others, have invested heavily in AR and VR technology, and results are already showing. The day isn’t far when XR technologies would be as ubiquitous as thermometers and stethoscopes.

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