Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Transforming the Future of Healthcare

BINEESH MATHEW | December 29, 2020

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Virtual reality (VR), the new technological advancement, is set to transform practices in the healthcare industry. According to Statista, it is estimated that, by 2022, the second largest market share of VR will be from the healthcare industry. Virtual reality in healthcare operates in various divisions to offer a greater quality of patient care and performance of medical professionals. For the health and healthcare industry, from the clinical process to the user, VR has a multitude of applications such as tutoring future doctors, generating new life-saving routines, etc.

Virtual reality in healthcare can confront the challenges in the industry, including efficiently handling huge healthcare databases, training and development of medical professionals, patient engagement, disease awareness, medical marketing, patient treatment, etc. Virtual reality in the healthcare market, according to a report from Reports and Data, is expected to reach USD 8.03 billion by 2027 from USD 2.06 billion in 2019.

This article discusses how virtual reality in healthcare is going to transform the industry by applying it in various divisions such as medical training, patient treatment, patient engagement, disease awareness, and medical marketing.


Virtual Reality in Healthcare Training

VR in healthcare can transport you to areas, inside of the human body, that otherwise would be impossible to access and view. Medical students currently use cadavers to learn, but cadavers do not react the same way live patients do. Also, cadavers are very difficult to get hold of.  When VR is used in healthcare training, students can view even minute detail of all parts of the body. This view is possible in stunning 360° CGI reconstruction and creates training scenarios, which would replicate real surgical procedures.

Virtual Reality in healthcare can be used to deliver high-quality surgical training. Using virtual reality, 4K 360° video of real-life surgery is filmed from multiple angles. Then it is combined with CGI models of the anatomy, which is being operated. This advanced use of virtual reality in healthcare provides medical students with an interactive and immersive training experience.



Patient Education

The ability of virtual reality in healthcare to see inside of the human body is useful for both doctors and patients. With the help of VR, doctors can take patients through their surgical plan. This is made possible by a virtual view of the anatomy and pathology of patients through a patient-specific 360° VR reconstruction. The result of this is an enhanced understanding of the treatment for patients and higher patient satisfaction.


Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a recent innovation. A robotic device, such as a robotic arm, is used in a robotic surgery while being controlled by a human surgeon. This utilization of virtual reality in healthcare makes sure of fewer or no risk of complications in surgeries. This also makes the surgeon finish the surgery procedure faster with greater accuracy. The robotic devices are accurate with reduced blood loss, smaller incisions, and faster recovery.


Mental Health and Psychological Therapy

The unique ability of virtual reality technology to take you anywhere virtually can be utilized to create a powerful virtual reality simulation in healthcare of various scenarios in which psychological issues occur. This eliminates the necessity of a therapist accompanying patients to various scenarios such as a tall building or a crowded shopping center to provide proper counseling. These scenarios can be easily created with virtual reality technology in healthcare.  Virtual reality in healthcare market has also been used to help autistic children in the classroom, curb memory loss, and gather data for dementia research.


Pain Management and Physical Therapy

Apart from psychological issues, the healing capabilities of VR are also used in pain management and physical treatment. According to a study by the UW Harborview Burn Centre and the University of Washington Seattle, a full VR immersion acted as a distraction for patients, who were undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft. This distraction subsequently reduced their feeling of pain.

Virtual reality in healthcare is also found to be effective in reducing recovery time in physical therapy. Patients performing their daily exercises in a virtual environment, find the task to be more fun than usual.  It also keeps the patients focused and helps them keep their spirits up and recover sooner.


Patient Engagement

With the help of virtual reality in healthcare, patients can experience a virtual tour of the inside of their bodies before surgeries. This is a 360-degree, three-dimensional (3D) tour. This enables patients to know their body, anatomy, and pathology, before the surgical procedures. Virtual Reality Medical Visualization platform is developed for the tour.

These advancements with virtual reality in healthcare engage patients thoroughly, which reduces tension and lead to a speedy recovery.


Medical Marketing

The most popular and initial application of Virtual reality was marketing. Still, it continues to be one of the most effective and powerful marketing tools. The ability to use VR to project the future of healthcare is the most powerful tactic in healthcare marketing. With Virtual reality in healthcare, one of the most powerful tactics that you can have to market in the industry is to show people what changes they can expect when they start or stop exercising, lose or gain weight, the progress they make through cancer treatments, etc.

As the possibilities of virtual reality in healthcare are endless, healthcare professionals and providers can attract more patients, doctors with high caliber, and nursing staff to your facilities. When those are in short supply, virtual reality in healthcare can be used as an excellent healthcare marketing tool to ensure expected results.


Disease Awareness

AbbVie, a pharmaceutical research & development company, created an experience to educate medical professionals and raise awareness among them regarding the daily struggle Parkinson’s disease patients undergo. The experience was demonstrated at a pharmaceutical industry trade show. People put on a headset and experienced how Parkinson’s sufferers navigate a virtual supermarket, meeting with difficult moments when they come in contact with other people.

Such experiences with virtual reality in healthcare help raise awareness for various diseases among professionals and patients. Virtual reality presentations can be conducted to raise awareness of certain diseases.


The Future of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

A lot of applications of virtual reality in healthcare are in their nascent stage. In the coming years, virtual reality will be used more in healthcare, which will improve the effectiveness and accuracy of present procedures. It will also enhance the various human capabilities, for both patients and medical professionals. Virtual reality in healthcare has huge potential, but only limited by the ingenuity and creativity of people who create and apply the technology. VR will surely transform medical training, physical and psychological therapies, rehabilitation, mental health treatments, and patient engagement, among others.

Virtual reality in healthcare holds the power to transform the way doctors are trained and treatment is provided to patients. According to reports from various market research companies, especially research done by Grand View Research, predict that, by 2025, virtual reality in the healthcare market will grow to a whopping US$5.1 billion. The major driving forces behind this growth are Rapid technological advancements in the healthcare industry and driving demand for rehabilitation and simulation training.


Frequently asked questions


How is virtual reality used in healthcare?

In healthcare, virtual reality is used in treatment, training, and to raise awareness among medical professionals and patients regarding various diseases. Patients and doctors are made to view the inside of the human body using virtual reality.


Where is virtual reality used in healthcare?

Virtual reality is used in various sectors of healthcare to deliver high quality patient care. Treatment with the assistance of virtual reality also increases the efficiency of medical professionals. Virtual treating is applied in all aspects of medical treatment.


What are the benefits of virtual reality?

Virtual reality in healthcare saves both, the time and money of healthcare providers. It also makes the work of medical professionals more convenient. It eliminates unnecessary travel for treatments by making appropriate decisions.


How virtual reality is changing healthcare?

Virtual reality is changing the healthcare by providing different advanced ways of treatments, especially for physical and psychological therapy, surgeries, pain management, and stress management and by assisting the rehabilitation process effectively.


Bloodworks Northwest

Puget Sound Blood Center has a new name! Bloodworks Northwest is an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition blending volunteerism, medical science, education and research to advance transfusion medicine and improve patient care. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on BloodworksNW research. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, BloodworksNW serves patients in nearly 90 hospitals and clinics in the Pacific Northwest, as well as providing tissue and transplantation support to 185 hospitals across the Northwest.


The Drum Beat of the Mind

Article | December 4, 2020

Creative thinking explores the wonder world of creation. Creative thinking edit challenges and insert solutions. Thinking is not narrow minded; it is a brood minded side effect. Are you standing still , holding the sign detour? Detour signal and message “ you cannot go pass here.” This message is like concrete to narrow minded thinking.Brood minded thinking says it is another way, I will find it , dismissing blind spots.. Napeleon Hill stressed the importance of ones’ thoughts in his Book Think and Grown Rich. Yes, the drum beat rymthe of the mind is thinking and manifesting an outcome. Napeleon Hill message is to sweep yourself to success, lean on the Bibical scripture” As you think so shall you be” As you think so shall you be amplfies the constant and significant need for growth and expanding. An interesting simple guarantee; a burning desire and an idea survives on the basis of thought, of will, of consistency and of determination. Contary to desire is force of giving up. The giving up force is similar to a ballon that’s blown up , being popped or untied , spilling and releasing out the air that blew it up. While the barriers of thought can spout limits; heels of success potential are unlimited. Thinking holds and embrace hands with the imagination, knowledge, visions,dreams, goals, wisdom,implementing a plan and an understanding. Consideration must ahere to a pattern of habit conditioning to implement and discover the enlightment engraved in devolping and being mindful of ones’thoughts. Goals- action based ( preferably written instuctions for best results) providing guidance for a desired outcome. The necleus for goals achievement is : confidence, commitment, clarity, creavity and consistency. Determination, desire and discipline are unstoppable buddies who see each other everyday.This is goal code. Imagination- imagination confess it is a continious activity seeking expression and is a storage center with creative wonders and unlimited possibilities. Dream- Dreams are a reflection of a desire begging to be recognize and fillful its purpose. Knowledge- Learning acquired through process of exposure,training ,education , reading, research or experiment Vision: reflection or an image created by words. Vision boards are useful and should be accompanied by words to assist in creating a vision. For instance, hearding the words pinkchair will flash an image of a pink chair to your thoughts of a pink chair. Plan- Plan is a diligent fan of goals. Plan provides instructional and clarity on a proposal; action to be taken and potential of its being productive, profitable and feasible. A plan is mission related, written and allow simple,easy and effective and steps for implementing What are the influencers and principles that are weaved into creavtive thinking? Thinking habits- how you see,explain and intrepret Environment- exposure ,travel, and surrounding Adversity- solution and problem solving based Altitude- level of understanding Knowledge- Learning structure Experience- practical knowledge gained Personal Development- promotion of ones’ learning and a concentrated effort to be informed Do not clog the drain. Thoughts are useful things. Thoughts can nudge you to be creative. Remember information is abundant and thoughts have power to create. “You can be what you want to be, do what you want to do, have what you want to have” Rev. Ike. This idea is associate with creative thinking. Creative thinking is an affirmation for success. It is also stated “ change your thoughts, change your life” Wayne Dyer Think, speak and affirm is a side effect lingering in creative thinking.Creative thinking is the drum beat of the mind. As it is said, Give the drummer some!”So I will so I can” is a mind with thoughts and thinking that erase impossibe. Think About This- Be creative Wear shoes that fit Do not hurt your feet With sores of regret Wounds of doubt And blisters of neglect

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Bloodworks Northwest

Puget Sound Blood Center has a new name! Bloodworks Northwest is an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition blending volunteerism, medical science, education and research to advance transfusion medicine and improve patient care. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on BloodworksNW research. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, BloodworksNW serves patients in nearly 90 hospitals and clinics in the Pacific Northwest, as well as providing tissue and transplantation support to 185 hospitals across the Northwest.