Virtual Reality in Healthcare

  • Virtual Reality: A magnificent game-changer in healthcare or an expensive appendage?

    Too often, we get to see virtual reality making headlines for their potential to transform our interactions in varying environments. And while notable VR technologies like Oculus Rift has been making its mark within the gaming continuum, there many other forms of digital media that virtual reality is challenging nowadays. One such facet is healthcare.

    Imagine a neurosurgeon doctor taking a 3D walkthrough of the patient’s brain prior to a surgery, zooming around blood vessels and examining its critical architecture to pinpoint an aneurysm or a tumor.

    An amalgamation of a platform like Surgical Theater SuRgical Planner (that creates very close to real 3D renditions of brain structures) using Virtual Reality (VR) could mark the beginning of an exceptional new era in healthcare. And it’s not just a dream anymore; virtual reality has already been popping up in healthcare in different ways, enabling medical professional to do their job more effectively and safely.

    Empowering Patients

    Since virtual reality enter the mainstream, it going to become more accessible to the potential consumers too.
    For instance, Google Cardboard that costs nothing more than just $15 allows smartphone users to stretch their abilities without requiring any scientific knowledge. Also, doctors have already taken initiatives to make virtual reality more patient-friendly.
    And more importantly, it’s not just a closed patriarchal system anymore where patients are being directed by doctors and expected to remember the provided instructions —it’s much more diverse than that.

    The Bravemind system has devised a virtual-reality-based therapy system allowing people facing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to ease their anxiety disorders, particularly designed for veterans to combat the psychological impacts of war.
    However, it’s worth acknowledging that VR is no magic. Putting someone in VR won’t going to fix everything on its own; doctors have to look at what is going to work in the real world and which treatments could be extended or amplified.

    Better Delivery of Care

    Surgery is one area that’s making the most out of virtual reality, because its requires extreme precision and that’s what technologies like Surgical theater are providing. Critical human structures like bloods vessels could be seen more lucidly and could be avoided while making a cut or suture.

    The Challenges

    Even though the virtual reality technologies have been receiving quicker upgrades, experts believe that they are still in the early stages. Then, there are the challenges of getting patients onboard which could be a big setback.
    Also, the fact that virtual reality could lead to a long-term reduction in the expenses, the high initial costs for certain procedures and technologies could really make this technology prohibitive on a larger scale.
    Virtual reality isn’t just about skill learning; it’s about creating a virtual environment that perfectly matches the needs of different clinical applications.
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