6 Uses of VR in the Healthcare Sector
Do you think that virtual reality or VR is all about the world of make-belief and gaming? Then it’s time that you get real. From real estate to product design – there are a number of industries that have adopted VR and the related technologies. And it can be said that the benefits of VR can mostly be seen in the healthcare. According to a study, by the year 2020, the global market for VR in the healthcare industry is expected to reach up to 3.8 billion USD. Below are some examples of virtual reality applications in healthcare:
1. Physical therapy
VR can be used in order to track the movements of the body. This enables the patients to do the movements of their therapy exercises as interactions in a VR game. This way, in order to catch a virtual ball, they may need to lift their arm. Compared to exercising in a gym, doing exercises in a virtual environment is a lot more fun. It makes the patients more motivated to continue exercises. Of course, it can be used in other ways too. Suppose a patient is anxious about walking. In this case, their virtual environment can be controlled in such a way that it looks as if they are moving much slower than they actually are. This makes them speeding up naturally, without even realizing that they are walking fast and this is why it is not associated with anxiety or pain.
2. Autism therapy
At this moment, there is no cure for diseases such as Asperger syndrome and Autism. Presently, therapy of autism includes in-person sessions with the doctor. An effective use of these sessions can help a lot in the treatment of autism. Virtual reality in healthcare can be of great help in this regard. For patients with autism, VR can be used in order to make the delivery of therapy simplified. For example, Floreo, a startup has made it possible for mobile VR to instigate social interactions with autistic kids. And this is done by spurring virtual characters in a scene. It has been seen that this have a calming effect on the autistic children as of now.
Do you have an irrational fear of something? Then that would be the last thing you would like to see in VR. Well, this can be regarded as one of the most established forms of VR medical applications. Generally, phobias are treated with graded-exposure therapy. In this therapy, a therapist introduces the fear slowly to their patients. This can be used to treat phobias including fear of spiders and fear of heights.
4. Relaxing hospitalized patients
Have to ever been hospitalized? If your answer is “yes”, we assume that you know how painful it is to wait for days before your release. If you are admitted for a long period of time, you start missing your friends and family and get a sensation that time has stopped. This is where virtual reality healthcare has come to your rescue. Medical VR has made it possible for the patients to stay in touch with their relatives and friends at any time of the night or day – without any time constraints.
5. Chronic pains
What do you generally do if you have severe pain? Gulp down a painkiller, isn’t it? Now, with medical VR, your brain can be stopped from processing pain. How does it work? Well, according to a study, the parts of the brain that are connected to pain are less active when a patient is immersed completely in VR. This helps them in dealing with the pain and then, eventually, getting rid of it. This is definitely great news!
6. Training nurses and doctors
Virtual reality is advantageous for not only patients, but also healthcare professionals. It takes a lot of time to train nurses and doctors and this training is generally provided by an expensive and busy professional. However, now, with the advent of VR in the medical industry, doctors and nurses can practice operations, learn anatomy and teach infection control with it.
The future of virtual reality in medicine and healthcare is bright. In order to enhance the capabilities of the human being both as the patient and caregiver and to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of the current procedures, VR will be used more and more. To be precise, the potential for VR in the medical industry is huge. Want to discuss how we can bring your virtual reality in healthcare project to life? Get in touch with us!