Virtual Reality is certainly an evocative technology. It seems that the use of Virtual Reality as a tool has reached quite far and wide past few years. This is actually massive, and while we are only in the early phases of figuring out just how the use of VR accelerated a tremendous achievement. Although VR indeed is believed to mark its major portion in the gaming sector, there are several instances where VR has made some serious implications in the lives of people and tried to change the overall face of the healthcare segment. We can say Medical VR is enriched with endless possibilities and even when the area is freshly introduced there are already some great examples of VR embarking a positive effect on the lives of both patients and medical practitioners. Let’s find out how.
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Uses of Virtual Reality in Medicine and Healthcare
1. Treating Chronic Pain:
Medical VR has been proved efficient to stop the brain from processing pain and cure soreness in the hospitalized patients. This is actually beneficial as it shortens the patient’s stay time in the hospital and also lowers the cost of the entire treatment process. There are a number of software created to deflect the minds of the ailing patients and focus more on VR worlds that can help them relieve stress.
KarunaVR for instance, make the use of Pain Education, Graded Motor Imagery, and Movement Science to help patients overcome learned pain and motor impairment. The software uses immersive VR technology offering motion and visual based experiences that help in fixing brain discordance.
A revolutionary move for pain relief and self-management is taken by OnComfort. They understand the patient stress and anxiety peaks and offer a simple yet effective non-pharmacological solution that doesn’t even requires training.
Stress certainly has a negative impact on the patient’s emotional quality of life and OnComfort provides a better solution of stress management. Also, it increases patient increases patient satisfaction metrics.
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2. Helps in Fighting Memory Loss
It is estimated that there 5 million cases of Alzheimer’s disease in America alone. Memory loss can affect several families around the world and it becomes difficult to find out what’s happening inside the brain when memories are formed or recalled. With this troubling situation, it becomes important for neuroscientists to get a deeper insight on the subject.
They are trying to understand what happens to the brain when new information is passed on to it. They also use a conjunction of brain implants and VR tasks for an immersive real-world experience and did also capture brain signals and oscillations for a clear idea.
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3. Enhanced Surgeries:
One of the most promising elements VR brings to the medical industry is that of the use of 3D models by surgeons to plan operations. By visualizing a complicated 3D organ on paper, really doesn’t give the full picture. And that is one main reason 360-degree graphics come to the forefront and also comes a better way for patients and doctors to communicate.
Prior to any operation, surgeons need to obtain the most precise images possible on the part of the body undergoing surgery. For instance, The University of Basel has developed a technology that employs computed tomography to generate three-dimensional images in real time to use in a virtual space altogether.
VR smoothly blurs the demarcation between the physical world and the computer simulation as surgeons can use latest versions of virtual reality glasses to interact in a three-dimensional space with the organ that requires surgical treatment, view it from any desired angle and able to switch between 3D view and the real CT images.
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4. VR Helps in Treating Autism:
Diseases like Autism and Asperger’s syndrome are incurable uptill date. As of current situation, autism therapy includes in-person sessions with the doctor. But with an effective use of these sessions can be lessened to a good extent. Mobile VR actually helps investigate social interactions with autistic kids by including virtual characters.
Wearable tech like Oculus Rift can be used with individuals with autism to navigate virtual situations and help them develop life skills that can lead to independent living.
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5. Mental Health and VR:
An opportunity to minimize reliance on pharmacological ways for mental health lies in Virtual Reality (VR). Exposure therapy (ET) is a really popular method among good practitioners to regulate therapy for patients suffering from mental issues.
With the launch of mobile VR headsets, including the Gear VR presents an awesome opportunity to use telemedicine for mental health treatment. The use of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) can actually lead to mobile teletherapy can go in conjunction with in-clinic VR therapy. VR is even capable of isolating anxiety related stimulus with a much-controlled approach. Even through ET goes quite well with VR there are other psychiatric conditions and child disorders, where VR might have a major role to play.
VR can also come as a rescue while treating anxiety disorders and phobias. For instance, CleVR is a platform that effectively uses virtual emotion technology to regulated stimulated social scenarios. They also use experiments to examine the effectiveness of VR as a therapeutic approach to treat social phobias and psychosis. A platform on similar lines in Limbix, that enables patients to interact with people in authentic, virtual environment.
Technologies like Virtual Reality are finding an increasing number of homes in the medical industry. There are actually tonnes of projects, along with a varied commercial vendors offering solutions for medical practitioners, hospitals and the patients. These projects range from classical surgical planning to patient education as well.
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