Virtual reality has come a long way in the years since it was first introduced, a technology most often associated with video games. As it has been enhanced, the medical community has found that it can be used for a number of different applications that can benefit both healthcare providers and patients. In fact, VR continues to change the medical field in many exciting ways every year. Here are some current uses for virtual reality.
Increased Surgical Efficiency
One of the most important uses for virtual reality in the medical field is increasing surgical efficiency, especially when it comes to complex surgical procedures. When using VR, surgeons can practice new surgical techniques and even simulate various surgeries they will be performing on their patients. It can also be used with patients and their families, allowing them to gain a much better understanding of the procedure that will be performed.
Simulating Health Conditions
Many hospitals now use virtual reality simulations to help doctors gain a better understanding of how their patients feel when suffering various illnesses. When using VR technology, conditions such as migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia can be simulated. In doing so, doctors can not only develop better treatment plans, but also gain more empathy for their patients.
Distraction from Pain and Anxiety
Whether it is a woman who is in labor when delivering a baby, a patient who may be suffering from acute pain, or a child who requires treatment after being injured, virtual reality is being used as a way to distract patients from the pain and anxiety they may be feeling at that moment. By using AppliedVR, many doctors find they do not need to rely on painkilling medications as often with their patients.
Improving Physical Therapy Treatment
In the world of physical therapy, virtual reality technology has proven to be extremely useful in many ways. First, therapists can use motion-enabled games with patients, which reproduce certain physical movements and makes therapy much more enjoyable. Next, VR allows physical therapists to greatly customize treatment plans for their patients. Finally, it will enable patients who are rehabbing the chance to practice real-life skills in a virtual environment, which may include washing dishes, grocery shopping, or other daily activities.
Constantly changing from year to year, most doctors feel what is currently being done with VR is only the tip of the iceberg. In the years ahead, it is expected VR will become an even more important part of healthcare.