How Healthcare Organizations are Adapting Virtual Reality
There is a lot of conversation about the benefits of virtual reality (VR) in healthcare. It is already being used in robotic surgery and new devices, but researchers are looking towards greater adoption. Nowadays, many applications already exist in medical schools and healthcare centers. Early adoption of virtual reality was in gaming, but research has made it easy to be used in other fields as well.
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Products such as HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift have made virtual concept accessible to the public. Demand of virtual technology is rising, according to a report “13 million Americans say they plan to buy a VR headset this year”, predictions by SuperData. People shouldn’t confuse VR with augmented reality, the difference between both of these is somewhat subtle. Both are on the rise and attention is spreading in both the fields.
Virtual Reality and Health Care
Healthcare is one of the industries where growth of VR is on the raise. According to virtual reality society; Healthcare is among biggest adopters of VR, encompassing surgery simulation, treatment of phobias, robotic surgery and training. One of the advantages is that it allows medical professionals to learn new skills and refresh existing techniques in a safe environment. It allows these things without causing any danger.
Medical schools and healthcare are getting benefits from this technology around the globe. Western University of Health Sciences, California; is installing VR technology in their lab. It will help students to understand human body. Immersive VR Education and Royal College of surgeons are working close to design “a Gear VR experience that places students in a resus room where they take control and make life-or-death choices for their patient.”
Advances in VR, including simulation and graphics, are enriching value and quality of open online courses. In fact, it is possible to create a “virtual patient” using software technology. “Virtual reality software can piece together existing MRI and CT images into 3-D visuals that doctors can rotate around and inspect from any angle without having to open up a patient,” a research article. These things are helping doctors make diagnoses better with no negative impact on the patient.
Healthcare Adapting Virtual Reality
With devices such as Google Cardboard, VR One, and Gear VR, hospitals are moving towards personnel training approach. Miami Children’s Hospital is getting benefits from VR training, there is increased employee retention rate. CEO Narendra Kini said; “retention level after one year of VR training is 80 percent compared to 20 percent after a week with conventional training.”
As the adoption of Virtual Reality is spreading, Healthcare institutes are teaming up with this technology. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Next Galaxy Corp. are developing a software for procedures such as wound care, Foley catheter insertion, and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
VR technology is living up the expectation of patients, helping them to get tours to self-administered simulations. Team of experts at Brain and Spinal Injury Center has partnered with augmented reality to help recover mobility after stroke or accidents.
A more recent adoption is introduction of VR for the robotic surgeons. There aren’t standards or set training for robotic surgeons, so Nicholson Center Hospital, Florida; is working on this technology to create a gamified program. Doctors get score based on exercises, everyone is presented with a situation that must be overcome with the help of Team STEPPS, a system that is developed by the department of Defense and Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality. As more schools and healthcare are experimenting with this technology, it is becoming more sophisticated. In future, it is likely that there will be benefits in terms of patient’s safety and reduce costs.