You may be familiar with the concept of virtual reality (VR). This technology does just what its name claims: immerses the user in a realistic virtual world. VR technology sends signals to your eyes and ears, tricking your brain into thinking you're experiencing a real event. What's more, this world is interactive and responds to your presence and actions in the virtual environment.
Up until recently, VR technology was only utilized in gaming environments. But now, medical and technological experts are realizing its potential to train and educate medical professionals.
So how do physicians and hospitals actually use VR technology? It can assist with diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, rehabilitation, preventative medicine, counseling, phobia treatment, robotic surgery and more. It's also an incredibly effective training tool that is currently being used by the next generation of physicians, paramedics and other medical personnel.
Medical professionals can use VR to learn new skills (or refresh existing ones) in a safe yet highly realistic setting that doesn't put them or the patient at risk. It can teach front-line professionals, such as first responders, how to deal with different emergency scenarios and practice their decision-making skills in a realistic environment.
Utilized in conjunction with traditional tools, such as MRI scans, VR can eliminate the need for invasive diagnostic procedures. Physicians can also use VR to train for robotic surgery, which has a lower risk of complications and takes less time than traditional surgical procedures.
VR technology doesn't just provide a benefit to the physician—it can help the patient, as well. Surgical patients often don't have a full grasp on the procedure they're scheduled to undergo. VR models can help them visualize the procedure and learn the necessary steps they’ll need to take to heal. The technology may also help educate patients about positive lifestyle choices by showing them the damage smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and low exercise can cause.
Overall, VR technology could have a massive impact on healthcare as a whole by providing better education and treatment options to healthcare providers and consumers.
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Posted: 10/28/2015 by
Filed under: healthcare, reality, virtual