Virtual reality technology is becoming a common asset across various industries worldwide, and it is changing the way businesses operate. The implementation of virtual reality into the healthcare sector has not only changed traditional health monitoring services, but it is also evolving the way that people interact with healthcare professionals.
The top four ways that VR is changing the healthcare sector are listed below.
1. Virtual clinics
Virtual clinics are becoming a common way for patients to access healthcare services. A virtual clinic is a physical clinic which involves patients using virtual and augmented reality technology to interact with doctors in remote locations.
The implementation of virtual clinics within certain parts of the world has seen outpatients waiting times drop from 15 days to a mere 5 days. The clinics are not only improving patient experiences, but they are also slashing healthcare costs as fewer referrals and resources are needed.
2. Health Monitoring
Traditionally, a patient who was experiencing a disease or health complication would have to physically visit their doctor for check-ups and new diagnosis or treatment plans.
Virtual reality is allowing healthcare specialists to monitor their patients’ progress through the use of webcams and monitorable wearable health tracking devices. If a client is wearing a device such as a heart rate tracker, a doctor can instantly track progress from a remote location and contact their client immediately if they have any concerns.
3. Training and education
Many medical students learn the best by physically completing a task. In the medical field, it is difficult for a student to gain this experience without performing a surgery on a live patient, and it is almost impossible for them to learn autonomous skills at the beginning of their studies.
Universities are now introducing VR simulators which are teaching students virtual anatomy. The devices allow a student to practice their learning independently and learn from their mistakes, well before treating a real human.
Virtual reality medical simulators also allow experienced surgeons to map out complex surgeries before they are performed on the patient. This process is reducing surgery risks and allowing surgeons to better prepare themselves for the task at hand.
4. Patient Experiences
Sufferers of mental illnesses such as PTSD, obesity, or anxiety are also reaping the benefits of virtual reality being implemented into the healthcare system.
Virtual reality simulation devices are being used to treat mental illnesses by creating an immersive experience for patients. The experiences use virtual reality headsets and headphones and range from tranquil walks in the park to promote a sense of calm, or upbeat musical movements that enhance a patient’s endorphin levels while promoting positive physical activity.
The implementation of affordable virtual reality services and equipment into the healthcare sector has innumerable benefits for both patients and healthcare professionals and evolving enhancements ensure that the best is yet to come.