The Future of VR in Healthcare
Virtual reality (VR and augmented reality (AR) are increasingly being used in various industries and specifically, can have an incredible impact on public health care. Here are some ways you will see VR and AR impact the healthcare community.
Virtual worlds can be used for a variety of issues ranging from treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the technology’s ability to hyper-realistically recreate traumatic situations to teaching social skills to people with Asperger syndrome or even providing therapy for children who have been abused. The worlds can be manipulated to provide more realistic stimuli than role play or discussions of hypothetical situations.
With the use of sensors and controllers, VR can track movements of the body. It’s more entertaining to perform physical therapy exercises in VR than in a gym or doctor’s office, so people will be more motivated to exercise. It will also reduce the cost and inconveinece of the patient who needs to routinely go to the physical therapist.
It has potential to attenuate pain perception, anxiety and general distress during painful medical procedures, such as wound care, chemotherapy, dental procedures and routine medical procedures. This is achieved through distracting the patient in an immersive environment where their attention is placed on other experiences, lessoning their attentiveness to their own pain or anxiety.
Potential Vision Improvement
In some cases, VR has even enabled people with vision loss to discover that the headset’s proximity to their face and the dual-screen projection method caused their eyes to refocus and enjoy the virtual experience.
Education and Training
VR can also reduce the overall, long-term cost of training medical practitioners. This can be achieved by reducing manpower and the recreation of physical environments and spaces.
Brightline has created an augmented reality experience designed to educate and create awareness surrounding a facial disease. Users stand in front of a large screen where the program augments their facial expressions to imitate the effects of the disease which results in loss of muscle control. This immersive, personal experience results in very memorable and tangible takeaways for all who experience it.