From Medical Research to Pain Management, VR is being used in today’s healthcare in more ways that you’d expect
If you reading this blog that means that you are interested in the amazing potential of the combination of VR and Healthcare.
You are in the right place.
So, let’s start …
As we all know by now, Virtual Reality (VR) is the new technology that is turning the healthcare industry upside-down. It is currently being used as a preventive, diagnostic, surgical and educational tool to resolve complicated healthcare issues and limitations.
It is indeed changing the way we live, act and think.
Have you ever thought of looking down at Paris from the Eiffel Tower while lying on a hospital bed? Or have you ever imagined swimming with dolphins on clear waters while undergoing surgery?
That is now a possibility thanks to VR’s capabilities.
The technology creates and immerses the user in a visually captivating and interactive environment.
VR as a Medical Research Tool
VR, when combined with healthcare, opens up exciting opportunities. For example, VR is being used to understand the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease when people got older.
The results concluded that people with genetics indicating dementia navigated the maze differently than people with normal genetic make-up.
This could be used to understand the spatial disorientation that happens to the victims of Alzheimer’s syndrome.
VR as a Training Tool
VR is also very useful as an educational tool. There are many applications that are being used to train the staff in hospitals and retail chains. Using these VR tools, the hospitals are training their doctors, nurses and other medical personnel on different types of medical procedures and systems, and the retail chains are training their staff to deal with difficult and stressful situations, as well as familiarizing them with updated product placements.
Dr. Narendra Kini, CEO at Miami’s Children Health System, stated that VR training programs offer a better retention compared to a traditional one. Going by his observations, trainees retain 80% of the information after one year has passed, as compared to only a 20% retention rate when trained with traditional methods.
VR as a Home Caretaker
Home Care is another great example of where VR is empowering patients. VR programs are being used to help patients deal with anxiety attacks or to enable them to get physical therapy in the comfort of their own home.
These advancements in VR technology lead to patients having better control over their health and, at the same time, having their health better monitored.
VR as a Pain Management Tool
The brain contains certain parts that give you the sensation of pain. These parts are the ‘insula’ and the ‘somatosensory cortex’. When you are immersed in VR the sensation of pain is greatly reduced.
In severe medical procedures involving traumatic pain, VR can successfully distract the patients to a great extent.
VR as a Fear and Phobias Management Tool
VR Exposure Therapy (VRET) can be customized to deal with individual fears or irrational phobias. Using VR, doctors can easily read the behavioral manipulations of each patient and can also study the effect of chemical compounds on these manipulations.
These are just a few examples of VR in Healthcare. The possibilities are endless. VR has two major elements that differentiate it from other breakthrough technologies: Immersive experiences and data.
It brings immediate value to both the patient and the healthcare provider, from engaging and fun experiences for the patient to accurate data for the clinician.
The technology will see significant growth and expansion within healthcare as entry barriers, such as low adoption rates and restrictive prices are being lifted (as is now happening), opening up new possibilities for physicians, researchers and developers to provide everyone a much better healthcare system.
Let the revolution begin!
If you are interested in Virtual Reality, Healthcare and everything in between — this blog is for you!
Together we’ll learn if VR is indeed the next revolution in the healthcare industry.
I’ll be more than happy to hear your thoughts and get your feedback. Feel free to contact me on my Facebook Page or to comment here.
Looking forward to sharing these exciting times with you!