Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Transforming the Future of Healthcare

BINEESH MATHEW | December 29, 2020 | 882 views

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.

 

Treatment

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.

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Article | June 22, 2022

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MyndVR | March 01, 2022

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TytoCare | February 23, 2022

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Within one hour, the member will receive the TytoCare device at home and the physician will guide them through a physical exam to see in real-time what is happening in the ear canal. The TytoCare examination kit can be used to support the care of children and adults as well as for patients with more complex illnesses who need frequent monitoring. "Members with medical complexities use health services more frequently and can benefit from remote monitoring, reducing the frequency of in-person visits," saidAna Carolina Lucchese, Tuinda Care director. "Easier access to medical services can also prevent further complications and hospitalization." About TytoCare TytoCare is a telehealth company using AI to transform primary care by putting health in the hands of consumers. TytoCare seamlessly connects people to clinicians to provide the best virtual home examination and diagnosis solutions.Its solutions are designed to enable a comprehensive medical exam from any location and include a hand-held, all-in-one tool for examining the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat, abdomen, and body temperature; a complete telehealth platform for sharing exam data, conducting live video exams, and scheduling visits; a cloud-based data repository with analytics; and built-in guidance technology and machine learning algorithms to ensure accuracy and ease of use for patients and insights for healthcare providers. Co-founded byDedi GiladandOfer Tzadikin 2012, TytoCare has FDA and CE clearances and has partnered with over 170 major health systems, health plans, and strategic partners in the U.S.,Europe,Asia,Latin America, andIsrael. About Alice Alice is currently considered the most promising health tech inLatin America. AsBrazil'sfirst primary care-driven health insurance plan, its mission is to make the world healthier. Launched inJune 2020, it already has nearly 7,000 members, more than 550 employees and has raised VC rounds at historically high levels for a health tech in the region. Founded by André Florence,Guilherme AzevedoandMatheus Moraes, the health tech has raised$174.8Mfrom the funds Allen & Company LLC, Canary, Endeavor Catalyst, Globo Ventures, G Squared, Kaszek, Maya Capital, StepStone Group, SoftBank Latin America Fund (SBLA) and ThornTree Capital Partners. About Tuinda Care Tuinda Care is a Healthtech startup focused on expanding access to high quality medical care inBrazilthrough telemedicine. It's the exclusive distributor of TytoCare technology inBrazil, with the purpose to connect clinicians and patients remotely, assuring medical excellence in every online visit. Tuinda Care is accelerated by Pequeno Príncipe Hospital and Sabará Pediatric Hospital, the two most prestigious pediatric hospitals inBrazil.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Cognizant Collaborates with Microsoft to Offer New Virtual Healthcare Solution for Remote Patient Monitoring and Improved Care

Cognizant | March 02, 2022

Cognizant today announced it is collaboratingwith Microsoft to delivera new digital health solution to enhance remote patient monitoring for improved medical care. Cognizant's new solution, leveraging components of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, is the first of several planned offerings that combine remote patient monitoring and virtual health, utilizing products like smart watches, blood pressure monitors, and glucose meters to collect and communicate patient health data to providers. Built-in analytics allow providers to cross-reference historical health information to gain patient insights and potentially identify early warning signs of chronic conditions so preventative measures can be taken. Additionally, the solution's remote capabilities enable telehealth visits, which continue to be a valuable option to mitigate barriers of care for patients with accessibility constraints, as well as implement time-sensitive interventions and improve personalized care. With chronic diseases expected to account for 70% of global deaths by 2030, advancements in digital integration are quickly becoming recognized as an optimal approach to preventing, managing, and treating disease.* As an early Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare partner, Cognizant has designed a solution that leverages Microsoft Azure services including FHIR, API Services, and Teams integration to improve scalability and reliability. This digital healthcare endeavor is backed by Cognizant's dedicated Microsoft Business Group, bringing together Cognizant's digital modernization expertise with Microsoft's focus on building Industry Clouds to deliver a commercially available, comprehensive, healthcare solution. This new offering is the first in a series of digital healthcare solutions from Cognizant as the company accelerates its client offerings aimed at implementing advanced healthcare technology to increase patient engagement, enhance personalized care, provide remote patient monitoring, and facilitate improved patient outcomes. Future offerings will build upon existing solution capabilities to help clients expedite implementation. "The bridging of technology and healthcare is creating new opportunities to improve how providers monitor the health of their patients and engage with them for time-sensitive interventions. Utilizing data analytics, secure cloud technology and interoperability products, our collaboration with Microsoft offers a unique, scalable solution that aims to connect providers and patients, and enhances the quality, timeliness, and personalization of healthcare." Surya Gummadi, Head of Cognizant Healthcare "Cognizant's new virtual healthcare solution utilizes differentiated capabilities, built on the secure and compliant Microsoft Cloud, that make it easy for people to collect and share health data using their own devices, while ensuring that providers have the data and insights they need to diagnose and treat patients," saidTom McGuinness, Corporate Vice President, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences, Microsoft. "We look forward to combining our technologies and collective expertise to deliver additional solutions that offer high quality healthcare and enable patient well-being." About Cognizant Cognizantengineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Together, we're improving everyday life.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

MyndVR and Omega Healthcare Announce a Strategic Alliance to Deliver Virtual Reality Therapeutics in Senior Care

MyndVR | March 01, 2022

MyndVR, the leading provider of Virtual Reality ("VR") solutions for senior care today announced a strategic partnership withOmega Healthcare Investors. As one of the largest REITs in senior care, Omega is committed to bringing technology and innovation to its expanding base of operators across the continuum of care in the US and UK. Omega will make MyndVR's industry-leading portfolio of senior-friendly, therapeutic VR experiences available to nearly 1000 senior living and skilled nursing facilities. This 3-year partnership will offer Omega's valued operators access to MyndVR's vast network of immersive content, state-of-the-art VR headsets, and proprietary care tablets, as the exclusive VR partner of Omega with pricing promotions to all Omega operators. The MyndVR platform includes a bundled subscription plan with monthly content updates across a wide variety of reminiscence, music, art, nature-immersion, meditation, and cognitive programs to help seniors achieve their skilled therapeutic goals. Taylor Pickett, Omega's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are excited to partner with MyndVR and align our concurrent missions of improving the lives of older adults.We look forward to helping senior care centers deploy this highly engaging and outcome-focused technology." At a time when the entire senior living industry is looking for easy-to-administer, time-saving activities that enrich the daily lives of seniors, virtual reality has become a very affordable and highly researched therapeutic tool. "We are deeply committed to providing VR-based therapeutic solutions that involve interactive content, sensory technology, and measurable outcomes. We are thrilled to partner with Omega to expand our reach and scale in improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of seniors." Chris Brickler, CEO and co-founder of MyndVR MyndVR serves several hundred senior communities across 45 states,CanadaandAustralia. Sodalis Senior Living has successfully rolled out MyndVR in 26 communities acrossTexasandFlorida. "At Sodalis, we have seen an immediate improvement in resident socialization after using MyndVR, as well as an increase in activity engagement with staff," saidTraci Taylor-Roberts, President at Sodalis Senior Living. "It's exciting because VR represents a game-changing approach to delivering activities and therapies for our residents." About Omega Healthcare Investors Omega Healthcare Investors is a real estate investment trust that invests in the long-term healthcare industry, primarily in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Its portfolio of assets is operated by a diverse group of healthcare companies, predominantly in a triple-net lease structure. The assets span all regions withinthe United States, as well as in theUnited Kingdom. About MyndVR MyndVR is the leading provider of Virtual Reality solutions for senior living communities, home health care agencies, Veteran homes, and individual adults aging in their own homes. The company has built a vast network of original and licensed therapeutic VR content. Their technology enables older adults to interact with the outside world in genuinely innovative ways that promote engagement, wellness, and above all, positive outcomes. MyndVR is committed to continued research and development to measure outcomes, including cognitive, visual, emotional, and physical effects on older adults.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Brazilian Heath Tech Company Alice Partners With TytoCare to Expand Telehealth Offerings With At-Home Medical Examinations

TytoCare | February 23, 2022

TytoCare, the global health care industry's first all-in-one modular device and examination platform for AI-powered, on-demand, remote medical exams, and Alice,Brazil'sfirst primary care-driven health insurance plan, have announced today a partnership. Alice is the first company inBrazilto integrate with TytoCare, offering its members an easy-to-use, portable examination kit to conduct virtual physical examinations anywhere, anytime, putting healthcare in the hands of consumers. TytoCare will be distributed exclusively inBrazilby Tuinda Care. Alice, which inDecember 2021received the largest venture capital round ever reported inLatin Americaby a health tech company, began operations inJune 2020as an innovative tech-enabled health plan, built on the foundation of virtual-first, team-based primary care. Besides providing each of its members a 'Health Squad' ("Time de Saúde") – composed of a family doctor, a nurse, a nutritionist, and a physical trainer – the company also serves as a private health insurance provider with access to top-of-the-line hospitals, labs, and a network of medical specialists. Most hospitals in the network are contracted under a value-based healthcare (VBHC) payment model. With the TytoCare partnership, Alice will enable seamless digital diagnostics for its members, while enabling physicians to offer clinic-quality virtual care. TytoCare is the only all-in-one telehealth solution enabling physicians to remotely connect with patients for clinic-quality physical examinations. The handheld examination kit enables users to perform comprehensive exams of the heart, skin, ears, throat, abdomen, and lungs, as well as measure heartrate and body temperature, which are key for treating many acute and chronic conditions. This allows healthcare providers to gain the vital clinical data they require to monitor, diagnose, and treat patients and avoid unnecessary in-person visits. All the data is stored in Alice's app and becomes available to all health professionals who care for the member, allowing for seamless care coordination. "This data integration – the first of its kind inBrazil– enables the member's Health Squad to easily follow up on any chronic or acute condition, providing patients with long-term care while ensuring accuracy, speed, and convenience in both diagnoses and treatment plans. TytoCare also reduces costs and the need for travel to and from hospitals and clinics. In addition, it enables the health professional to share vital information with other physicians and specialists for a second opinion." André Florence, CEO of Alice TytoCare is easy to use and requires only an internet signal for members to conduct synchronous virtual consultations with their physician who can guide them through the exams and see the results in Alice's app. The physician can then better direct the member to the appropriate care pathway, either by referring them to an emergency room or by writing a digital prescription, when necessary. Currently, 15% of digital queries use TytoCare's support and with the integration, this number is expected to grow even further. With TytoCare, Alice can offer better assistance to a member who has, for example, an earache in the middle of the night and opts to use 'Alice Now' ("Alice Agora") – an in-app, text-based virtual primary care service that supports audio and video and is available 24/7 for members who need immediate medical assistance. Within one hour, the member will receive the TytoCare device at home and the physician will guide them through a physical exam to see in real-time what is happening in the ear canal. The TytoCare examination kit can be used to support the care of children and adults as well as for patients with more complex illnesses who need frequent monitoring. "Members with medical complexities use health services more frequently and can benefit from remote monitoring, reducing the frequency of in-person visits," saidAna Carolina Lucchese, Tuinda Care director. "Easier access to medical services can also prevent further complications and hospitalization." About TytoCare TytoCare is a telehealth company using AI to transform primary care by putting health in the hands of consumers. TytoCare seamlessly connects people to clinicians to provide the best virtual home examination and diagnosis solutions.Its solutions are designed to enable a comprehensive medical exam from any location and include a hand-held, all-in-one tool for examining the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat, abdomen, and body temperature; a complete telehealth platform for sharing exam data, conducting live video exams, and scheduling visits; a cloud-based data repository with analytics; and built-in guidance technology and machine learning algorithms to ensure accuracy and ease of use for patients and insights for healthcare providers. Co-founded byDedi GiladandOfer Tzadikin 2012, TytoCare has FDA and CE clearances and has partnered with over 170 major health systems, health plans, and strategic partners in the U.S.,Europe,Asia,Latin America, andIsrael. About Alice Alice is currently considered the most promising health tech inLatin America. AsBrazil'sfirst primary care-driven health insurance plan, its mission is to make the world healthier. Launched inJune 2020, it already has nearly 7,000 members, more than 550 employees and has raised VC rounds at historically high levels for a health tech in the region. Founded by André Florence,Guilherme AzevedoandMatheus Moraes, the health tech has raised$174.8Mfrom the funds Allen & Company LLC, Canary, Endeavor Catalyst, Globo Ventures, G Squared, Kaszek, Maya Capital, StepStone Group, SoftBank Latin America Fund (SBLA) and ThornTree Capital Partners. About Tuinda Care Tuinda Care is a Healthtech startup focused on expanding access to high quality medical care inBrazilthrough telemedicine. It's the exclusive distributor of TytoCare technology inBrazil, with the purpose to connect clinicians and patients remotely, assuring medical excellence in every online visit. Tuinda Care is accelerated by Pequeno Príncipe Hospital and Sabará Pediatric Hospital, the two most prestigious pediatric hospitals inBrazil.

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