Importance of VR Technology in Healthcare
Table of Contents
- Virtual Reality in Medical Training and Education
- Virtual Reality in Intervention and Rehabilitation
- Virtual Reality in Disease Awareness
- Virtual Reality in Remote Collaboration
- In Conclusion
New technology continues to shape our present, pushing the boundaries of possibilities and accelerating development. The global pandemic has indeed served as a catalyst to accelerate further VR (Virtual Reality) expansion into many industries worldwide. Healthcare, like no other, faced the challenges brought by the current state of the world. The need to find technological solutions that are both remote, safe and immersive has grown exponentially, which has brought healthcare more towards VR.
There is no doubt that VR implementation in healthcare is on the rise and is estimated to accelerate in the upcoming years. We see more Virtual Reality solutions being implemented for medical training and education, intervention and rehabilitation, disease awareness and even remote collaboration. VR in healthcare is estimated to hit the global mark of over 42 Billion USD by 2028, while delivering benefits to both medical specialists and patients. As the technology continues to open possibilities for healthcare specialists and patients worldwide, today we would like to look at the main industry implementation trends.
Virtual Reality in Medical Training and Education
Taking training and education into VR has been a growing trend for many industries, especially for healthcare. This has to do mostly with the fact that it is now possible to create practically any simulation or environment in VR. The realistic visual stimulation allows users to learn new and practice existing skills in a controlled and safe environment. At the same time VR headsets capabilities enable users to collaborate remotely, allowing users from all over the globe to interact and cooperate at the same time. This is especially helpful in scenarios where the upskilling or reskilling requires expert supervision. As well as in the processes of medical specialists onboarding be it with new equipment, procedure or even products.
Virtual Reality in Intervention and Rehabilitation
Today, medical intervention and rehabilitation methods have gone a long way. This includes the advancement of technology that is being used in medical centers. In terms of intervention and rehabilitation methods, VR has been on the medical expert’s radar for quite some time. Helping set up experiences for a vast scope of conditions including the ones that are mental health and lifelong related. Having to do mostly with its capabilities to build gamified experiences. These experiences can be built to become easily breakable into different stages, to account for different levels of difficulty required for different cases and severity of conditions. The limits of accessibility have also posed a great challenge for people that require medical intervention and rehabilitation, driving medical experts to turn to VR in order to solve the challenge and need of operating remotely.
Virtual Reality in Disease Awareness
Quite a significant amount of people living with lifelong conditions at some point in their lives have faced social challenges, due to the lack of awareness or even empathy towards the condition. VR is becoming a more popular tool used to communicate and most importantly first-hand experience the symptoms and challenges people face. The technology enables users to submerge into a visual simulation, helping build empathy through experiencing reality from another person's standpoint. This gives a tremendous opportunity to talk about the most complex topics, while really reaching the audience and connecting individuals. Aside from being an empathy building tool for doctors, medical specialists as well as individuals outside of the healthcare industry, VR experiences allow to educate patients on early signs of conditions and help notice them, thus starting preventive treatment in disease early stages.
Virtual Reality in Remote Collaboration
As social distancing has been an important part of our current lifestyles, many specialists have gone online to try and continue with work as usual. The need for remote and safe cooperation has posed as a great challenge for healthcare professionals that are required to collaborate in a more hands on environment. Taking collaboration into VR allowed healthcare professionals to interact simultaneously in a unified space, bringing specialists from all over the world together once again. This has been especially applicable in case of medical trainings, that are limited due to the on-site visit restrictions and simply because of the need to continue being hands-on with the medical practices.
Virtual Reality indeed can serve as a powerful tool for healthcare professionals, with experiences helping specialists submerge into an intubation or even a hysteroscopy simulation.
As the world still remains in a state of uncertainty, it is important to continue innovating and moving forward. Virtual Reality in this case plays a growing role in helping healthcare expand its boundaries. Continuing to push the development, while remaining safe, remote and immersive for medical specialists worldwide. Looking forward, we can definitely expect to see more Virtual Reality implementation into an even bigger scope of healthcare functions.
Authors: Alex Dzyuba, Lucid Reality Labs Founder & CEO | Anna Rohi, Lucid Reality Labs Senior Marketing & Communications Manager
What is Virtual Reality in Healthcare?
Virtual Reality in healthcare is the next step of innovation that many Healthcare companies and institutions are taking to enhance the medical personnel’s capabilities. It allows medical specialists to perform, learn, train, practice, and upskill in risk-free immersive environments, helping improve their confidence, competency, and patient outcomes.
Why is Simulation Important in Healthcare?
The simulations in healthcare allow medical practitioners to hands-on train, enhance, and hone their skills without posing a threat to the real patient. VR takes simulations to an entirely new level, immersing one in high-fidelity interactive environments. Where the digital twin approach is used to create 1-to-1 digital replicas of any real medical environment, process, procedure, or patient scenario for a close-to-real-life sense of presence and interaction.
How can Virtual Reality be Used in Healthcare?
Virtual Reality can be used in healthcare to practice skills, learn using new and existing equipment and medical devices, practice and prepare for procedures, train essential soft skills, including critical thinking and empathy, and much more. Virtual Reality allows users to submerge into high-fidelity, fully functional environments where they can interact, collaborate and go hands-on through every step of the recreated medical procedure, task, or scenario.
Article Last Edited 22 November 2022.