In recent months, there has been substantial research on how Virtual Reality is influencing the healthcare industry.
Please see below our debrief on some of these updates. Our primary sources include the company Digital Health Briefs and Frontier’s journals for VR and Medicine.
Extended Reality is a term growing in popularity as it is currently shaping the future by diminishing costs, increasing access, and improving the results and quality of tests conducted. In the alternative reality world, XR incorporates the computer-generated worlds of VR, the overlaid computer content of AR, and the superimposed digital Reality that we often see in our smartphones and computers.
XR is the umbrella term that encompasses all of the environments possible between VR, AR, and MR (Mixed Reality).
Regardless of whether your company thinks it’s unlikely or unaffordable, both of those points are easily disproven. XR will allow a realignment of current thoughts and ideologies, allowing a hospital doctor’s office, and an individual’s homes to function differently, regardless of location. Med-Tech is here to stay.
Let’s take a look at some of the most recent academic and healthcare patterns, including startups and mainstream acknowledgment.
Journey Inside a Cell - “An award-winning educational VR experience that takes the user inside a human cell. The experience allows users to travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body.
They then enter one of the billions of living cells inside our body and learn how the organelles work together o fight deadly viruses.”
Anatomy Viewer -is the only commercially available VR visualization tool based on The Body VR, a patient-specific medical data (e.g., MRI, CT, PET) and satisfies DICOM standards.
It provides real-time, anatomically accurate VR simulations to visualize medical diagnoses, illustrate the impact of procedures and treatments, and create more informed decision-making. The user can interact with these scans, allowing the 3D volumes to be freely scaled and rotated.
Colon Crossing “The app helps patients prepare for colonoscopy with an interactive tour of the colon using cutting edge VR technology.”
XR serves many roles, including patient education, explaining medical devices, and technical understanding to employees and guides.
In October 2018, St John Ambulance in Australia unveiled what it calls an “evolution in global first-aid instruction” with the launch of mobile and VR training technology. Twelve months in development,
First Aid Skills allows users to respond to a virtual emergency, helping hone lifesaving skills and making first aid a part of everyone’s life.
These technologies have been integrated in several ways, including surgery itself!
In March 2018, sinus surgeons with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center were the first in the United States to use augmented Reality during minimally invasive sinus procedures.
“The addition of augmented reality to surgical navigation serves as a GPS-like system and offers patients benefit sets of minimally invasive surgery with lower risks and better outcomes,” explained Martin J. Citardi, M.D., chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head.
Check out some of our other articles on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and XR for information on how these emerging technologies might fit within your field.