Posted March 15, 2017 by admin in articles

What Impact WIll Virtual Reality Have on The Health Industry


Exclusive article by Lindsey Patterson for

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology with a seemingly limitless range of uses and applications within the field of medicine. While telepresence and simulated environments may not seem like concepts with multiple direct applications in terms of caring for patients, the many changes that VR technology may create in terms of treatment methods, surgical procedures and even training techniques may prove to be nothing short of revolutionary. With widespread implementation of VR within the medical industry expected in the near future, rapid changes and significant improvements to patient care and procedures may not be far off.

Patient Rehab and Recovery

There are many limitations to conventional rehabilitation efforts that may hamper the recovery process. VR applications that may be used to teach patients new skills or allow them to more effectively visualize different types of exercises may be able to speed the recovery process. While incorporating the latest technology into every rehab program may not always be of benefit, there are numerous instances and circumstances where healthcare providers or other medical professionals may be able to improve the quality of their interactions with patients thanks to VR. From learning new coping skills to ensuring patients are provided with a safe and controlled environment, VR has much to offer when it comes to patient rehab and recovery options.

Addressing Psychological Issues

Finding effective ways to treat and manage mental health issues is one of the most significant challenges within the world of medicine. VR equipment has the ability to recreate situations that may be stressful, traumatic or that might otherwise be difficult for patients to experience through conventional means. VR is ideal for providing patients with a safe space in which to work through issues and problems. Aversion and exposure therapy can be a very effective way to address an underlying phobia and VR technology can often provide an easier, more convenient and more controlled way for mental health professionals to work with and assist their clients.

Virtual Surgery

The full number and range of surgical applications this technology may provide has yet to be fully explored, but utilizing VR as part of the surgical process is a concept with a great deal of promise. The ability to more easily visualize the anatomy of a patient or the means to interface with autonomous and robotic surgical tools, either in person or through telepresence, is expected to make a real difference in terms of the quality of care that patients will be able to obtain. VR assisted surgical procedures may allow physicians who are present within the operating room to overcome a wider range of potential obstacles as well as ensuring that the most skilled surgeons will be better able to take part in procedures that may be taking place almost anywhere in the world.

Superior Training Methods

Significant effort is required in order to properly train medical professionals. For many healthcare providers, training is an ongoing concern that cannot be neglected. VR training resources may decrease the time, effort and energy needed to properly prepare both students and established professionals for the challenges that may lay ahead. Facilities and organisations that invest in the right training resources may also be able to reduce instances of malpractice which in turn may save them the financial resources needed to obtain a lawyer or to defend themselves from a legal claim or suit.

New Technology Creates a Brighter Future for the Field of Medicine

VR is not the only technology whose time has come. Other innovations, such as synthetic materials and implants that have been specifically designed to reduce the risk of being rejected by the body’s immune system, treatments and procedures that utilize stem cells to surmount the limitations of conventional medicine have a great deal of potential. VR devices, equipment and resources can be expected to play an increasingly prominent role in efforts to increase the quality of life for countless patients in the days ahead.

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