Future of Virtual Reality in Healthcare Industry
Virtual reality and augmented reality are upcoming technology that will change the way people think and will soon change lives. Much has been said about the VR companies like MagicLeap. When those articles were written, Google was the major investor behind MagicLeap’s funding of $600 million. Through Alibaba’s effort, another $827 million was added in February. With the sum of $1.42 billion being raised, virtual reality and augmented reality would soon become tools available to everyone. And soon enough, the presence of virtual reality in healthcare industry will be felt.
Using Virtual Reality in Healthcare Industry
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The first virtual reality surgery was announced a few months back. With the best of conditions, apart from just video gaming, we might be able to avail of the innovative features of virtual reality for other applications, specifically healthcare.
The company behind the virtual reality surgery broadcast is called Medical Realities, and they have come up with amazing learning programs for VR headsets such as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. While the above announcement caused a lot of stir in the healthcare sector, virtual reality and healthcare seem to be a long way off from being merged in various ways. Two VR/AR companies that focus on the usage of virtual reality in healthcare industry are examined below.
With millions of dollars invested in Magic Leap, Google still has its fingers on other pies. They have moved on with their own VR hardware, which is generally known as the Oculus Rift. And they are also rumored to be developing another headset called the Android VR. A company using Google Glass for healthcare purpose is Augmedix. The San Francisco–based company was founded in 2012 and received at least $40 million in funding from 16 committed investors to develop their product.
Proving yet another important benefit of using virtual reality in healthcare industry, Augmedix enables doctors and other medical practitioners to use Google Glass during Facetime with patients in order to reduce time spent recording data onto a computer. This gives the doctors more time with the patient to talk about important things and less time with the computer.
Apart from communication, Google Glass could be used to record information such as medications, labs, allergies, etc. Notes, fields, and other sub-menus could be made without staring at a computer screen. The patient’s electronic health record could also be consulted with ease. On the average, it is estimated that Augmedix saves at least 33 percent of time, which would have been wasted in charting the patient records. The product has a 99 percent acceptance rate, and it’s going to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Founded in 2012, this company originated from Switzerland. They have generated funds of over $108 million to retrain the brain on working again for those suffering brain damage (e.g., victims of stroke). They are the second-highest valued company behind MagicLeap. They invented the world’s first thought-powered VR, AR, and motion capture game system called MindMotion. The technology tricks the brain of patients into believing that immobilized sections of their bodies are working, allowing for a faster recovery.
MindMotionPRO is being used across Europe and would soon be put to use in the United States hospitals too.
The use of virtual reality in healthcare industry hasn’t been fully proven and accepted. We have yet a long way to go, but with time, all that may change.