The term virtual reality, or VR for short, is most commonly used in the world of gaming and computers in general. Nonetheless, in the past few years, virtual reality managed to find its place in several other industries, one of which is healthcare. That is right, virtual reality is being used in healthcare. This might come as a surprise, but VR provides numerous advantages to the healthcare system for both the medical staff but also for the patients as well. The standardized procedures of the healthcare system are being slowly restructured around virtual reality. The advantages VR brings go from training simulations to surgery assistance to aiding the recovery process of patients. This is all based on statistical information that has been gathered so far which shows amazing results.
That being said, virtual reality has certainly earned its place in the healthcare system showing a lot of promise for the future. In this article, we will go over some of the advantages that virtual reality brings to the healthcare industry. With that out of the way, if you are looking to learn more about VR and healthcare, read on!
VR Anatomy Training
With the addition of VR in healthcare, newer generations of doctors have gotten the opportunity to learn in a completely different environment. Through VR, medical students are able to attend procedures in a risk-free environment. Virtual reality has proven to be a better alternative to old-school methods. Before, medical students had to watch procedures and difficult operations from viewing rooms. This way, students might miss an important part or detail of the procedure. Not to mention that they have to wait for that same procedure to happen again. Furthermore, through virtual reality streams, medical students are able to participate in the procedures and acquire experience firsthand without any risks.
Additionally, VR is also a great tool for experienced surgeons to hone their skills to perfection in a controlled risk-free environment. Statistics have shown that doctors who used virtual reality as a practice tool had more confidence during the procedures resulting in an overall better performance.
Virtual reality simulations have contributed to the increase in the overall safety of procedures as well as the efficiency of the medical staff. Simulations have existed since the 18th century with the first one being designed to help doctors and midwives prepare for the procedure of giving birth. As time passed, more simulations were created in order to help the healthcare system. One of the most well-known simulations created is the CPR dummy. Today, with the help of technological advancements we have virtual reality simulations. There are many simulations that have been developed already with more in the works. These simulations have shown amazing results in helping people with mental disorders. For example, dealing with social anxiety can be extremely stressful. However, with the help of virtual reality, a person that is suffering from this disorder can face their fears in a controlled and safe environment.
3D anatomy models of the human body can tremendously help surgeons plan out the procedure, reducing the potential risks for the patient even more. Furthermore, virtual reality in combination with robotics gives us surgical robots which the surgeon controls throughout the operation. This way, the procedure requires a minimal amount of invasiveness without any limitations to the surgeon’s ability to perform the operation.
Virtual reality does not only help doctors with their duty. When it comes to patients, sometimes they can experience high levels of anxiety and stress when they are at the hospital. This is especially true in situations where patients suffer from a serious illness. Apart from the clear benefits of virtual reality in education, it also serves as a rehabilitation device for patients. Many studies have shown that patients who participated stated that their visit to the hospital was much more relaxing with the help of virtual reality. In some cases, patients even said that their pain levels dropped significantly due to VR. Additionally, there have also been cases where women reported feeling less pain during childbirth.
In conclusion, the advantages we have mentioned are just a part of the whole picture. The future of VR in healthcare is definitely promising. As the technologies advance even more, we can only guess what happens next. The only problem that is preventing virtual reality to become a part of every healthcare institution in the world is the price. It is still too early to say or force anything, but we certainly hope that, given enough time, virtual reality will reach every corner of the healthcare industry. There are already specialized VR healthcare companies that focus on improving different parts of VR in medicine. As we said, we can only hope that virtual reality stays in the healthcare system providing all of its benefits.