How VR is Being Used in the Healthcare Field
Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Applications and Future Directions
The Healthcare industry is a leading beneficiary of Virtual Reality technology, and it involves the simulation of surgery, trauma treatment, robotic therapy, and disease awareness. Virtual reality is also used as a diagnostic tool because it allows doctors to work in tandem with other tools like RIM scans for diagnosis. It promises to revolutionize diagnosis and the training of doctors. A Grand View Research estimates that this demand will expand to 5.1 billion dollars by 2025. According to Global Business Analysts, the VR healthcare demand is projected to expand to $1,274.4 billion by 2030.
VR allows doctors to adapt to new technology and imbibe new skills without putting patients at risk. Virtual reality is used in many health fields, including diagnostics, medicines, healing, and counseling, by allowing you to experience virtual simulation created by machines. The Virtual Reality in Healthcare Market size is estimated to reach USD 8.03 Billion by 2027 from USD 2.06 Billion in 2019, registering a CAGR of 16.21% through the forecast period.
The VR revolution was brought in by Dr. Shafi Ahmed, who conducted the first VR surgery, which was live-streamed and watched by people online. A Harvard study reveals that VR trained surgeons witnessed a 230% rise in their surgical capabilities as compared to traditionally trained surgeons. On the basis of technology, Virtual Reality is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.58% during the forecast period. Although AR will improve the healthcare industry’s real environment, VR can totally replace it, and users require a special VR headset to truly explore myriad avenues of virtual reality.
According to Global Newswire, the US currently accounts for 30.09% VR share in the global market. China is expected to scale up and expand its market size to US$369.4 million in 2027, and Germany is expected to grow by about 21.2 percent. VR has a variety of capabilities for the health and healthcare sector, ranging from the development of innovative life-saving procedures to tutoring the doctors of the new generation. In 2016, VR-based simulation had the highest share of sales in the application segment.
VR offers improved medical education training, and medical schools and universities worldwide are taking advantage of this technology. For instance, the Western University of Health Sciences, California, has turned anatomy research into a simulated human body experience VR laboratory to provide hands-on experience to the doctors and students. The application of VR in the healthcare sector include:
1.Virtual Reality Medical Training
VR allows medical students to experience the insides of the human body through computer simulation for deeper insights. It allows medical students to practice hands-on procedures in a controlled setting where they can make mistakes and learn from them without risking a patient’s life.
It also trains paramedics and other staff to learn life-saving skills without risking the lives of patients. This is made possible in the virtual world by creating a simulated accident or a situation of emergency. These are practical examples that equip them to adapt to high-pressure circumstances and respond precisely, having experienced it in a simulated environment.
3.Pain Relief Therapy
The curing capabilities of VR are also implemented for pain relief and physical therapy. VR has shown its strength in accelerating healing time with natural therapy. Enabling the patient to undertake relief therapy in a simulated environment makes it comfortable for them. It keeps the treatment patient-centered and helps the patient maintain his or her sanity over the prolonged recovery period.
Odontology is another field where VR plays a significant role. An innovative method called ‘HapTEL’ trains new dentists on the basis of haptics. The students are provided with instruments to carry out procedures such as filling with a virtual drill on the 3D set of teeth. Virtual drilling replicates the motion and pressure of a real drill. The feedback allows students to feel subtle pressure shifts, encouraging them to adapt the technique accordingly.
VR is used as a medical instrument to facilitate a diagnosis by doctors and physicians. This is achieved by means of technologies such as MRI/CT scans, which reduces the need for any form of invasive procedure and renders it painless to the patient. VR will be used progressively in the following years to enhance the accuracy and feasibility of existing medical treatments. Furthermore, VR is quite easy to use in diagnostics, time-intensive, and is expected to drive the growing use of technology. This results in a higher understanding of the surgery, and consequently, greater patient satisfaction.
Counseling leverages the use of virtual reality to treat phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, during phobia treatment, a patient is able to learn new skills and adapt to the environment through simulated means. It can also help people living in life-threatening circumstances, who develop post-traumatic stress disorder by imposing coping mechanisms and conditioning. A series of methods to cope with their condition’s effects are learned using virtual reality techniques. During VR counseling, the tools include a pair of virtual reality glasses (HMD), a data glove, and an input system.
Benefits of VR in Healthcare
VR is a revolutionary tool capable of mitigating security risks, creating life-saving routines, and tutoring the to-be doctors. Let us look at some of the advantages of VR in the healthcare industry:
- Reduces patients’ risk
- Improves preventive medicine and education opportunities
- Better pain management
- Promotes physical and cognitive therapy
Companies such as Osso VR and Immersive Touch shifted their focus from conventional practices and have come forth in utilizing virtual reality technology to train doctors, surgeons, and paramedics. While significant evidence is available to promote VR in medical procedures in order to attenuate acute pain, the exploration of VR for treating chronic pain is under exploration and research. The healthcare industry is frequently experimenting with VR for the procedure, preparation, and examination, and it will continue to enhance the healthcare sector with its immense possibilities. In the healthcare industry, the scope for VR is only bound by the creative instincts and imaginative power of technology designers.
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