Virtual Reality In Healthcare
Most industries can benefit from mixed reality technology, but few have embraced it like the medical field. The impact that interactive and immersive tech continues to have on the healthcare world is spectacular.
In a profession that is reminded of the intersection between humanity and budgets each day, it is difficult to get the best of both worlds. Despite this, VR & AR has flourished, and brings patients and medical teams enormous benefits. The bottom lines beneath med-tech are a lot healthier than one may think.
The global VR in the healthcare market is projected to reach $30.40 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 42.4% during 2019-2026.
Viewport develops with a human-first approach and has worked with hospitals and medical training professionals alike.
You’ve heard the saying “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
Apply this in a hospital setting where patience and empathy are of utmost importance, virtual reality can do wonders for bridging the patient/physician communication gap.
Dementia Training Australia contracted Viewport to develop a training program for nursing home attendants to be placed in the mindset of a dementia patient, seeing what they see and how they see it. Not only does virtually walking in a patient’s shoes increase empathy and understanding of their situation; it results in higher standards of care.
The possibilities don’t stop there, with opportunities to enhance the patient experience, medical student knowledge, pain management and more. Virtual reality has never been more vital in propelling the medical industry into the future.
Viewport worked with Ozurdex to create a computer-generated 360° video to show the inner workings of their ocular implant.
Ozurdex approached Viewport to develop a computer-generated imagery video to narrate the benefits of the ocular implant for those suffering from Diabetic Macular Oedema (DME).
After extensive research and collaboration, we designed a CGI narrative around the science behind the function of the eye. The engaging CGI allows for a better understanding of the product for investors and patients alike.
Additionally, higher education would benefit immensely from the benefits VR can bring to our universities.
Imagine, medical students being able to virtually conduct a complex surgery, without the weight of risk and with the time to explore. Practice makes perfect.
VR training “improved participants’ overall surgical performance by 230% compared with traditional training methods.” The VR-trained participants were able to complete procedures on average 20% faster and more accurately.
Harvard Business Review
It doesn’t get any clearer than this. Patients want to understand their conditions and want access to information faster and with ease. As medical professionals, make it easier on yourself by allowing impactful visuals and videos to effectively communicate the status of your patient’s health.
Patients expect better doctor-patient consultations: 70% think healthcare providers can ‘better use digital tools, mobile technology and the internet to improve the patient experience.
Pain & Anxiety management
As medical professionals know, the human mind is fascinating and complicated. When dealing with pain, the mind welcomes any and all distractions, and this is where VR can be of service. Using mind-blowing imagery to create an alternate world that differs from the one where the patient is getting major surgery, is a reality I would want to be in if I were them. Not only does this enhance the patient’s experience, but it helps the facilitator conduct the procedure with swiftness and ease.
In December 2019, the use of VR headsets at the St George Hospital in the UK showed that patients using them changed the way they experience anxiety during wide-awake surgery; 100% of patients reported that wearing the VR headset improved their overall hospital experience and 94% said they felt more relaxed. Further, 80% felt less pain after wearing the headset and 73% reported feeling reduced anxiety. These are significant statistics.
Complex Surgery Planning
Even more so is VR critical to complex and uncommon procedures in which doctors/surgeons endeavour to be fully prepared. VR can take surgeons through the surgery before doing so in real life, creating pre-planning meeting vital to a successful procedure.
VR technology is being used by vascular specialists, who use interactive 3D visualisations to prepare for procedures to fix aneurysms and blocked arteries, they give a better idea of what types of devices to use and which approach may work best.
As with practising for complex surgery, working in a virtual world before the real world will always create confidence. The key with most rehabilitation exercises is building upon responsiveness and repetition, repetition, repetition.
Viewport has the ability to develop virtual exercise programs that stimulate patients’ minds, encourage correct neurological responses, and allow easily attainable therapy at home.
Research has shown that VR-mediated rehabilitation can speed the pace at which these patients regain physical abilities.
Paediatricians and Children’s Oncologists are served with the tough task (among others) of communicating to a child why they are at the doctors office, hospital, getting an MRI, getting surgery, or going through chemotherapy, etc.
Virtual Reality can not only help to translate a situation for the child, but also help them prepare for whatever procedure they will have to go through.
Children wearing the headsets as they’re receiving anesthesia prior to surgery, fall asleep more calmly, they wake up more calmly, they don’t even notice what’s going on around them. An experience that may have caused uncertainty and stress for a child is now a near non-event.
Health Tech Magazine
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