Virtual Reality in Medicine: Top 13 Promising Use Cases
January 14, 2020
Prospects and results of VR show that one can use this technology almost everywhere. It violates physics laws, overcomes boundaries between fiction and reality, whether it is traveling through space or paraplegiс patient’s first walk after years of paralysis. Virtual reality in medicine transforms offline healthcare by making the impossible possible. VR helps in clinical training, disease forecasting, and prevention, eliminating treatment or diagnosis errors, ensuring efficient care. And that is just a tiny part of how virtual reality enhances medicine and healthcare business as a whole. Continue reading to find out the rest!
Benefits of Virtual Reality in Medicine
The advantages of virtual reality in medicine and healthcare business are almost numerous. Let’s take a look at the core ones.
1. Immersive Medical Education
Today, with VR technologies, medical students will no longer need to dissect human corpses for theoretical and practical purposes. Virtual reality medical training offers future clinicians to sharpen skills by taking a virtual journey across the human body, learning from others’ mistakes without real patients risks. Students can learn how to interact with a variety of medical instruments or technologies in a safe, controlled virtual environment via 3D models or virtual presence during operations.
HumanSim, for instance, provides various solutions for VR medical training that helps gain the necessary skills in working with different tasks and processes. These applications deliver information to students in a practical, exciting way allowing them to create their medical simulations. After all, the better students learn to interact with the human body, the better therapists they will become.
2. Enhancing Surgery
Medical virtual reality finds its most widespread use in surgery. It is difficult to find another field of medicine in which imaging and practical possibilities for doctor’s actions would play an even more critical role. No dummies can’t compare in plausibility with virtual reality mobile apps. Nothing will threaten real patients as interns will be able to learn how to do subtle and complex procedures, which will increase accuracy, reduce error likelihood, postoperative complications.
Besides, sometimes treatment requires the use of rather rare types of intervention, which ordinary doctors may not encounter. And the lack of real experience can be compensated for on virtual simulators. OssoVR helps hone surgical skills and allows training doctors who use robotic surgery systems.
3. Improving Dentistry
Dentistry is another area in which virtual reality helps future and experienced professionals sharpen skills as well as to adapt to new tools. Using virtual reality devices, they can study 3D models and textures of teeth, jaws, mouth. Haptic technology from MOOG is a splendid example of a virtual simulator for surgeons. This virtual environment provides the most realistic dental processes modeling, varieties of pathologies, problems, treatment methods.
4. Surgical Planning
When using virtual and augmented reality, surgeons can get a three-dimensional operated body part model. This allows physicians to study medical cases from different perspectives, and consider the best way to operate, gives more guarantees for successful surgery and health outcomes.
AR/VR-based platforms like SentiAR and Proximie help surgeons scan the body in real-time, identify problems, examine them on a 360-degree scale or in real size, determine the best process and methods for invasive procedures.
5. Patient Informing and Consulting
Lack of specialists, long appointment waits, inability to visit a doctor. VR technologies in healthcare can solve all these issues. Such technologies as telemedicine and VSI holomedicine act as a virtual bridge between doctors and patients. Telemedicine provides the opportunity to get a virtual consultation at any time, and in case of a serious situation, speed up the process of patient ‘s acceptance by a doctor. VSI holomedicine helps patients better understand their illness, results of surgical procedures as well as determine the further treatment plan.
6. Helping Patients With Dementia and Detecting Early Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people, and this number is continually growing. It manifests itself in various fields: speech, environment interaction, memory. Diagnosing a disease using VR in medicine already helps alleviate its symptoms, as well as stimulate positive emotions through traveling to exotic places, observing wildlife, etc. Projects like The Wayback offer a non-drug alternative way to bring back precious memories and feelings, to establish communication with loved ones. But alleviating Alzheimer’s sufferer’s lives is not the only use for VR medical training in fighting against this ailment. Medical virtual reality testing reveals disease risk at the age of eighteen and enables scientists to understand better how it develops and how to prevent it.
7. Battling Motor Skill Disorders
Virtual reality medical research in the field of motor skill disorders already shows how capable virtual reality devices can be. Recovering motor skills is a long, laborious process. VR impact will help increase motivation, enhance tactile sensations, balance skills, etc. This technology also helps improve treating Parkinson’s disease. Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinekt gaming systems are used to intensify perception, control motor abilities, enhance response to obstacles. Such an effect makes it possible to stimulate mental and physiological processes, which helps patients fight the disease much more effectively.
8. Dealing With Stress and Fears
Using virtual reality medical training in a safe, controlled, patient-tailored environment is of great help to relieve stress and deal with fears. Applications like Virtually Better help cure addiction to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Psious will help ease various phobias, reduce stress, pain. Anxiety ReliVR from Applied VR company helps people, or specialists like military or firefighters, who are always in extremely stressful situations, treat post-traumatic disorders. Such VR medical training helps patients improve their health outcomes.
9. Distraction From Pain
Our subconscious mind is an incredibly powerful tool that can force us to completely change our perception, body, the world around us. Unfortunately, we do not know that tool well, so virtual reality in medicine comes to our aid to help with this. With the help of audio and video effects, drug treatment can be replaced. One example of this perception is the SnowWorld virtual reality mobile app, which helps fire victims think less about burns. Other applications like Samsung Gear VR distract from pain or fear of the procedures. Virtual reality devices help trick the brain, thereby become an effective painkiller.
10. Chronic Pain Treatment
Using virtual reality, the patient can distract from chronic pain and switch his or her attention to more pleasant things. Virtual reality mobile apps like Mobius Floe will provide the player with as much distraction from pain as necessary. This program can be adapted to specific user’s conditions, distract him or her from physical pain with the help of different tasks or plot twists.
11. Healthy Lifestyle Promotion
People are continuously facing problems of harmful addiction, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, etc. Medical VR technologies help influence a person by showing him or her, with visual illustrations or transformations, the consequences of his or her choice. VR-empowered solutions will help realize healthy lifestyle benefits and determine how long it will take to recover from bad habits. With the VR Health Exercise Trakker app, users can track heart rate, reduce calories, as well as get a workout to improve metabolism. Quitting smoking is not easy, but apps like Smoke Frey or QuitNow! help motivate and control smokers during their struggle with the habit.
12. Treating Autistic Disease
Virtual reality in medicine is a useful tool to help children and adults with autism to adapt to our world. People with this disease can learn to cope with tasks that are simple for us but difficult for them, such as interviewing, fearing animals, traveling by public transport, getting to know someone, etc. Virtual reality mobile apps like Floreo help people with autism develop communication skills, guiding them through different types of social relationships. With Beholder, users can experience how people with this disease feel, see themselves and the world around through the eyes of another.
13. Mental Health Treatment
Mental disorders bring negative health effects, and sometimes even lead to disability. According to the World Health Organization, every fourth person will be prone to future mental and nervous disorders. Virtual reality medical training can help with the treatment of mental diseases such as fear of crowded places, split personality, paranoia, insomnia, etc.
Projects like Mimerse really work and deliver effective medical services to reduce stress and fight phobias. Patients can watch a 360 ° video from Limbix, fight fears, and forget about the pain. Such medical virtual reality applications for the mass market will bring invaluable benefits to people around the world.
Transform Your Healthcare Business With VR in Medicine Best Practices
Virtual reality in medicine is a storehouse of opportunities, which is continually evolving and replenished with new benefits. We can already see how virtual reality is changing the medical field today, thereby future development prospects. These technologies bring new services to medicine, creating enormous healthcare opportunities for businesses. Demand for more affordable and less costly healthcare shows no signs of a slowdown. If we take into account all the above advantages of virtual reality in medicine, then it becomes a worth field for healthcare providers to invest in with high profitability as well as an eternal perspective.
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