VR (Virtual Reality) technology has entered our world a few years ago. Until now, it was associated primarily with computer games. However, virtual reality (VR) will play a greater role in caring for the patient, becoming a completely new branch of medicine.
It will play a particularly important role in medical applications by providing a virtual environment for VR therapy, rehabilitation and also by serving as an educational platform.
The advantage of VR devices is the use of sound and the feeling of movement transmission, which provides many stimuli and improves the functioning of the nervous system. An example of this is a balance training platform – a person standing on it, thanks to the connection of the platform with a VR device, can control the course of the situation shown on the screen. Special games connected to the platform allow you to perform exercises to strengthen your muscles or improve your balance.
This gives promising therapeutic effects, especially in the case of seniors. How does VR affect their health? An elderly person adapts to artificial images and specific situations by making appropriate movements, and thus interacts with the generated reality.
“Vivid images” are also used in hospitals as a “distraction” of patients from the procedures they undergo and the discomfort associated with pain. Another application is education consisting in creating “virtual tours” of the body, which can bring patients closer to the scope of their treatment or planned surgery. VR also helps doctors, e.g. surgeons, who may visualize potential risks before a planned operation. This allows the quality of healthcare to be improved.
Medicine uses VR, due to the unlimited freedom in making mistakes. Surgeons are specialists who, of all the available professions, have the smallest margin of error. When performing complex operations, when the lives of patients may be at risk, they must operate flawlessly at all times. Any mistake would be fatal. The main problem in training surgeons is practice. The only effective solution to carry out practical learning is to perform surgery on a living person. However, the first time you do it, the risks are enormous. New technologies can help you minimize this risk. What’s more, with their help, we can not only safely perform complex operations, but also obtain precise, accurate feedback on each of our steps during a virtual operation.
VR supports difficult and complex medical training
Virtual reality is a technology that allows us to move into the virtual world and use it in exactly the same way as we move or operate in the real world. By putting on VR goggles and special gloves or controllers, we move to a computer-generated world in which we can perform any tasks. Virtual reality allows us, among others to manipulate virtual 3d people models. A properly created VR application can perform both a training function and test the acquired practical knowledge. It is possible to guide the user step by step and display feedback to him in real time. The exam module can follow the user’s actions step by step and finally display precise feedback on each action performed in VR.
Trends in the healthcare market
The use of virtual reality in medicine or the use of virtual reality in rehabilitation seem to have unlimited possibilities. The growing interest of doctors, researchers and patients in these technologies will certainly result in the emergence of new areas of their application. Diagnostics of neurological and psychiatric diseases, rehabilitation after stroke, advanced research on the human brain are just some of the areas of medicine that will benefit from the implementation of virtual reality solutions.
The virtual reality system also allows patients to look at patients from a different perspective. For example, headsets with special software imitate the world perceived by the senses of Alzheimer’s patients. It is a rich source of education, but also a chance to develop empathy towards the sick.