How will virtual reality change the healthcare industry? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Virtual Reality has already changed the healthcare industry. Moreover, healthcare is one of the "hottest" industries, where Virtual Reality is rapidly hitting a place for itself.
Let's see a few examples:
Relief of the sensation of pain
Here, our "doctor" prescribes to pick up the app, where you can hide in the huts, which are made of snow or other materials. The environment places the patients in condition where one, simply gets pleasure from sightseeing. This effectively helps to calm down and distract the patients from quite unpleasant burning sensation throughout the body. Currently, special healthcare applications are being developed, and widely used to distract from painful procedures effectively, owing to which, it is possible to do without the anesthesia.
One of such healthcare applications is a video game SnowWorld, from the University of Washington. Despite the fact that all this is in the process of development stage, the numerous clinical results have shown very encouraging results.
Virtual reality and exposure therapy
Professor Albert Rizzo, who is the director of VR in the medical field and who works at the Institute of modern creative technology, uses virtual reality exposure therapy, particularly with the soldiers, who survived post-traumatic stress syndrome, caused by hostilities. The essence of the therapy lies in patient's immersion in simulation, where he drives the Hammer and suddenly a homemade device explodes in a certain place.
This is a special opportunity for the soldiers to say, especially for those, who survived the war, how it was and how it was awful. This is peculiar stimulation of the imagination, where the patient is trying to work over the trauma or any other problems by a specific provocative method.
Virtual Reality as a tool to conquer phobias
The above-mentioned exposure therapy is very useful for the standard treatment for phobias.
The patient, under the supervision of a psychologist, meets something that causes fear.For example, a man has a fear of public speaking. Virtual reality technologies help cope with them by "acting" in the front of a virtual audience.
Frequently observed spider phobia is also worth paying attention to. One of the first prominent healthcare applications to treat spider phobia is Spider World.
Virtual Robotic Surgery
Robotic surgery has become popular virtual technology. The semantics of the term seems to be a bit intricate, but still. The process of fulfilling the operation is the following: A robotic device performs the operation, but is controlled by a human surgeon. It is a plain, sublime interaction, which decreases time, and reduces the risk of complications.
Virtual reality has also found its application in educational purposes and in the area of Remote Telesurgery, where the operation is carried out in separate place for the patient. The main idea of this specific system is revealed in a force feedback, where a surgeon can evaluate the amount of pressure to use, when performing delicate action procedures.
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