You’ve probably watched movies like The Matrix and Inception that feature the types of virtual reality that dreams (or nightmares) are made of. You’re also aware that virtual reality games are all the rage right now. Did you know, however, that virtual reality, shortened to VR, is also making a tremendous impact in the world of medicine? Check out these five trends in healthcare.
- Virtual Reality and Desensitization If you have patients with phobias, using VR to perform exposure therapy can help them cope. Whether the fear in question is to insects or it’s something more intangible like claustrophobia, using VR can allow patients a lot of autonomy and control in their exposure.
- Virtual Reality and Distraction Researchers have found that by engaging the senses through virtual reality, the brain can be distracted from painful stimuli. Giving patients a VR game to play during potentially painful procedures can actually cause them to experience significantly less discomfort. In fact, studies have shown that playing games can be even more effective than administering morphine to burn victims.
- Virtual Reality and Practice When medical students transition from operating on cadavers to operating on living, breathing patients, errors and misjudgements can occur. Virtual reality gives students another way to practice their techniques before moving to real patients.
- Virtual Reality and Opportunity While anyone can benefit from VR stimuli, patients living with disabilities that make it impossible for them to have certain experiences can enjoy adventures and everyday pleasures. For example, through virtual reality, a wheelchair-bound patient might take a VR hike through the woods, or a bedridden child might be able to frolic with dolphins.
- Virtual Reality and Social Understanding For children and adults living with autism and other similar disorders, extra effort is needed to communicate with and relate to other people. VR gives these patients a chance to practice their understanding of social cues in a way that is judgement-free, private and set to their current level.
Because the world of virtual reality is changing and expanding so quickly, new opportunities are sure to arise, perhaps in your field. If you want to stay abreast of the latest trends and technology, HealthCare Marketing Group can help. Call us at 800-258-0702 to learn more.