"Most doctor visits will be like calling up a YouTube meets virtual human docs and there will also be an aspect of virtual reality." — Leslie Saxon
After a long wait, humans are finally paving the way to sustainable digital and virtual healthcare. Read ahead to know how.
The way we engage with technology and data — how we ingest knowledge — is changing at such a rapid pace that it's easy to overlook the mouse's position. This makes the proverb "prevention is better than cure" an apt adage for the situation. Hence, high-tech culture is helping to improve healthcare and to cure illnesses.
Evolved from a marketing buzzword to a mainstream industry arena, Virtual reality (VR) for improved immersive experiences are used in various market fields, out of which healthcare has been the most prominent. VR solutions allow both healthcare professionals and patients to interact with simulated environments tailored for medical education (including simulative surgery training), pain management or rehabilitation.
VR technology in the medical profession is gaining traction as a possible medical instrument that helps the facilities in day-to-day activities, including staff recruitment, 3D simulation to increase productivity, and many more. It also provides complete interactive 3D visualization in treating a variety of ailments such as autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and extreme pain situations.
VR not only benefits care practitioners but also reassures patients by allowing them to tour a simulated replica of their own body. But, what are the pointers that advocate VR enactment?
Following are the primary drivers of growing VR adoption in healthcare:
High demand for high-quality healthcare facilities.
- Need for reduction of Healthcare expenses.
- Playing a prominent role of linked technologies in healthcare.
Let's understand that here's how we reached so far and what does the journey ahead look like;
Statistics of VR in Healthcare
- People couldn't interact with computers using a graphical user interface before 1964, as that's when Douglas Engelbart invented a wooden shell circuit board and two metal wheels, which enabled us to interact with 2D technology.
- Now, projected global healthcare tech has seen $26 billion+ funding in just the first quarter of 2021—a 2% hike compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
- In 2020, the global healthcare VR market was estimated at $336.9 million. It is projected to grow at an average CAGR of 30.7% and reach $2.2 billion by 2024.
- Healthcare is one of the top three markets that will continue to be early adopters of VR technologies through 2025.
- 82% of healthcare professionals believed that VR is a practical means for medical students and practicing healthcare professionals to view and learn content.
- Digital reality healthcare systems will be welcomed by 62% of patients as an alternative to conventional healthcare.
Application of VR in Healthcare
- VR for Medical Education & Training:
VR in healthcare can reach newer heights by changing how medical education and practices have been performed over the years. It is likely to be an ideal tool for practical training and theoretical learning of medical students. By giving hands-on techniques in surgical and other interventional procedures are the main fields of application of VR.
VR for Medical Consultation & Surgical Procedures:
During the consulting session, the Healthcare professionals can demonstrate the treatment procedure to their patients by leveraging VR technology. Even for crucial surgical processes, VR allows them to clearly explain every step of operation by guiding them through the procedures step by step. After this, VR also assists in the quicker elimination of functional capacity deficiencies by encouraging surgeons to conduct various mock surgeries in the simulated environment. Surgeons may become trained practitioners without the use of costly one-time use mannequins.
- VR for Pain Management:
For cases like Chronic pains, Acute pains, Mental pain and Anxiety, via successfully diverting a patient's attention, pain relief software may help reduce the level of pain or severe discomfort—this method of VR aids in reducing the use of potentially harmful painkillers as well as hospital costs.
- VR for Rehabilitation:
VR transforms patients' therapeutic experiences into a gamified environment that motivates people to aim for positive outcomes by virtual milestones and achievements by moving healing activities into the virtual world. Instead of a human therapist, software's built-in AI will offer comprehensive feedback and inspiring assistance, making for less expensive and more time-flexible person healing.
Such steps will lead us a long way in our friendship with technology, but the next big step is still underway. But, there is no stopping here. Before AR-VR technology is incorporated into everyday clinical practice, healthcare's future will be more tactile, immersive, and interactive. It will hopefully be gradual in the routine care that we offer in the future.
Till then, let's work towards making this dream a reality through our big-small endeavours. Click on this link to know how we are actively contributing to a better future in VR.