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Role of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

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Posted June 24, 2019

What is Virtual Reality? Where is it used? Whenever we talk about Virtual Reality, our brain directly connects us to gaming and a bit of retail domain. We imagine gamers who have worn VR headsets and are fully engrossed in a virtual world along with various other players.

Image credit: appinventiv.com

However, this is not the limit of VR technology.

If you remove your VR headset and see around you, you will find that VR technology has entered a whole range of other segments – one of which is Healthcare about which we are going to look into in-depth today.

Straight from training new doctors to performing treatment on PTSD patients, Virtual Reality has found several applications in the health and care domain. The technology has opened new doors of delivering exquisite services to patients – a consequence of which is that the technology is highly adopted these days. It has, in fact, become one of the top Healthcare trends.

Sounds interesting?

Let us look into the role of VR in Healthcare in detail in this article.

Applications of VR in Healthcare Domain

Virtual Reality, that is poised to grow over $3.8 Billion by 2020, is transforming healthcare industry primarily in four areas:-

1. Disease Awareness, i.e, the section associated with identifying and creating an awareness for diseases.

2. Medical Marketing, i.e, the subdomain related to promoting medicine and medical business.

3. Patient Treatment and Training, i.e, the area where you look into how to deliver an exceptional consultation experience to patients.

4. Medical Training, i.e, the section focusing on training medical students and practitioners.

Now as we have taken a brief of all the four sections, let’s elaborate each to know the use of VR in each aspect of Healthcare.

Role of VR in Disease Awareness

Virtual Reality helps doctors to spread awareness about any disease by simulating the environment associated with a particular disease/medical condition. This makes it easier for the users to easily comprehend what type of issues patients face in their daily lives and how others can help them in living a better lifestyle.

Besides, the VR environment also make it easier for patients facing these diseases to easily determine the right way to cope up with the condition and thus, life a better lifestyle.

Role of VR in Medical Marketing

The next element of VR inclusion in the healthcare domain can be seen in the marketing domain. A number of medical industry’s active brands like Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline etc have made VR an integral part of their several campaigns that are devised for explaining the extent of a medical issue to the masses.

GlaxoSmithKline, for example, in their “The Migraine Experience” campaign, made migraine sufferers put in their symptoms in the system, which was then integrated into VR and given to their non-migraine acquaintances to experience what they experience, only minus all the pain.

Role of VR in Patient Treatment and Training

When it comes to the role of VR in Patient treatment and training, the technology comes of great use to the patients in different ways, such as:-

– Better Consultation

Unlike traditional methods where doctors used to put forward some medical terms and reports, VR helps to improve the consultation experience. The technology, using the power of 3D interactive content and 360-degree videos, empower doctors to let their patients know exactly what is going on in the body. This gives them a clarity of the concept and helps them to take a quicker decision in terms of treatment plan.

– Betterment of Mental Health

VR has also shown signs of being a great help when it comes to enhancing the mental health of a patient. The technology put people suffering from issues like PTSD, Dementia, Memory Loss, or even Autism in different simulated environments. These virtual environments help to calm their minds and thus, show progressive outcomes.

– Pain Management

The link between mind distraction and pain management can be drawn to several years in backdate. VR comes in very handy when doctors are out treating patients who are suffering from massive pain as the after-effect of their treatment.

The technology takes them to different delightful places and moments that distracts the patients’ minds and eventually help medical practitioners to perform procedures without making the former suffer more.

Role of VR in Medical Training

Another reason why medical companies contact mHealth app development companies who have expertise in VR  is to devise solutions around medical training.

The technology helps the medical students and practitioners to get a better understanding of the concepts. It exposes them to virtual world similar to real emergency situations and practice surgeries. It enables them to interact with virtual patients and improve their experience, along with making mistakes. And the best part, they need not put their lives at risk for reaping the benefits of this as a whole.

Now that we have looked at all the four classes of applications that VR sees in the Healthcare domain, it is likely that you too be interested in entering into the world of VR app development. To amp up your idea, let us glance through the companies that are excelling in the specific medical sector.

5 Companies Which Are Innovating the Medical Industry With VR

1. Immersive Touch

The company works on the development of simulation backed environment for surgery exploration and training. They introduce all the real-like elements that make a medical student/practitioner have the feel as if operating surgeries in real.

2. DeepStream VR

The company works mainly with an emphasis on pain management. They have created an application which distracts the patients by placing them in a calming virtual environment  when they are suffering from pain in real life.

3. Medical Realities

They work on the development of 360-degree videos which are designed to help the surgeons be better prepared to handle the high-risk surgery situations, especially when doing the surgery for the first time.

4. Virtually Better

This is the name behind the notable “exposure therapy”. The brand is known to aid patients by exposing them to anxiety creating stimulus while they are physically in a very controlled environment – something that helps fasten patients’ recovery.

5. Firsthand Technology

The company has found a synergy between healthcare and gaming by application of VR to better hygiene, fitness, and other positive health ecosystems.

Conclusion:

The extent of which VR can be made a part of the health and care industry, especially the medical domain is only restricted to as far as your imagination goes. There are a number of practical ways through which the lives of doctors and patients can be enriched with the technology inclusion, that goes beyond to the ones listed in the article.

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