Virtual Reality has been projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world with of 6.3 million unit device sales in 2016, it’s already off to a good start! We are certain that the devices are going to be the future of entertainment, however, the question on most people’s minds is can they diversify into additional markets. Well to put it simply, yes they can and there are many avenues that Virtual Reality has yet to fully explore.
One of these avenues is Healthcare, we believe that VR has the potential to really help the healthcare industry in many different ways. According to many studies, this will, in fact, be the second largest market for both AR and VR (behind entertainment). This comes as a surprise to many people as they can’t see where Virtual reality could fit into healthcare, although there are many different areas in which these headsets could be of massive aid!
Could VR ever be used as a treatment?
We know it sounds silly at first, but believe it or not VR has been used to treat patients with many different health problems. Although they are usually used in cases where people have a mental disorder, that isn’t always the case and this could be a great way to help to teach patients how to walk again after a major injury. Also adding an extra level of fun which may persuade people to put more effort in and come back for more sessions! Depression is the main illness which is treated using one of these devices, and we have to admit it is a very good idea! These will entertain the users, distracting them from their previous thought and putting them in the middle of a completely different universe.
Rehabilitation can be the most difficult part of any health issue, whether it be a broken leg, stroke or one of the many other possible issues. VR can be used in most of these situations to quickly distract the user and put their mind in a different place. Specifically treating a stroke with one of these devices is a great idea, combined with the Rapael smart glove which sends information back to the doctors while you perform tasks. Whether it be mini-games to test your mental strength or physical activities this a great way to get people active while they’re in the process of recovering! There are even custom rehabilitation programs which have been specifically designed for VR patients.
VR used as a training method
Probably the more obvious way that Virtual reality fits into healthcare is the training of new doctors, surgeons, and nurses. This can also be a great way to train first responders and show them how to act in a life or death situation. This is because they are able to practice going to different emergencies using the headsets. If you can also virtually take part in an intricate operation you will learn all of the different operating rules, techniques and the exact areas which you would need to operate on! A great way to revise also for any Healthcare students that are still in education.
Certain practices are even live streamed in 360 (Makes it possible for VR viewing or people without a headset can simply move their phone around) to help students learn certain rules and general practices. They can walk around the room, see what the doctors are doing and pick up general tips and tricks along the way! With the option to hire or rent Virtual Reality headsets this could be the ideal revision method for many people.
Will we see VR being used more in the Healthcare industry?
We expect to see Virtual and Augmented reality popping up around every corner of the Healthcare industry. Whether it be the training, treatment or even reviews of hospitals and GPs. Organizations are always looking for ways to save money and if you could purchase a VR device to use as a treatment for multiple patients instead of employing a doctor it’s more than likely we’ll see this more and more often! Plus the fact with many different mental disorders including depression, paranoia, phobias and much more being treatable with these headsets it is more than likely they are just as effective as a doctor would be. We sincerley hope that there are more discoveries made and VR can help treat and cure millions of different people around the world!