How can VR invade the health system?
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
VR and AR have conquered more and more lines of business over the last past year. And today we will write about healthcare.
The healthcare area began to use the VR (Virtual Reality) or AR (Augmented Reality) a few years ago, to help cure stress problems or schizophrenic behaviour. The healthcare environment is always looking for new advanced technologies in order to make its research evolution effective.
- Light&Shadows just released the XR SUITE in which they are developing a new application : XR ERGO which allows ergonomists to visualize workstations ergonomics through a real person (equipped with trackers) at its workstation or at a virtual one with an avatar.
- The company c2Care developed applications for each kind of problems such as progressively immerging the patient to face his phobia or trying to lower his/her stress rate thanks to the immersion. But it is not the only possible way for the Virtual Reality to impact the field.
The alliance between VR and Human health
VR technology is used for training future doctors or nurses. Brilliant idea because even if they make mistakes in the training scenarios, the patient’s life is not in danger. The immersive experience offers real situations and real cases for students without the risks for a real patient. For example, the company SimforHealth, editor of numeric solutions for health training, developed MediaActiV: the first numeric simulation platform only for health professionals. It allows students and professionals training, or just allows to learn more about medical profession and techniques. This platform applies the ethical concept of “Never on the patient first”. It highlights the fact that the training is important in the medical field as the medical practitioners/clinicians has humans’ lives in their hands.
b) Pain management
These companies are aware of their technological powers and demonstrate that VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) have a real impact on pain management. Indeed, in some hospitals, doctors experienced Virtual Reality (VR) by using it in place of analgesics or adding it to medicines. They observed it can reduce the time patients think about their pain and to feel further pain in general. By using VR, AR, or MR, the patient focused its attention and concentration on the scenes he/she is being showed thanks to the VR devices and thus does not focuses on his/her pain. That’s why VR has success on the pain management.
Another aspect of the VR has been studied: the report in Scientific Reports, of a study conducted by the Dr Miguel Nicolelis, neurosciences specialist in North Carolina in the USA, demonstrated that by equipping paraplegics persons with a suit and a VR headset in addition with a machine that stand them up, some patients began to reanimate some of their spinal cord and legs’ functions, made them move intentionally, and even began to walk. It’s the Walk Again Project!
The VR (Virtual Reality) has made its proofs in the medical field. Nowadays, it is used during treatment (e.g. chemotherapy) or during operations on the same level as hypnosis. On their website, HypnoVR offers various alternatives as: texts for conversational hypnosis - using during operations – in addition with local aesthesia; 3D hypnotic universe – displayed in the VR devices provided at disposal in hospitals for pain treatment; and musicotherapy - impact the heart rate and the relax state of patients using VR devices.
Practitioners and doctors are always looking for solutions to reduce the pain of their patients. Virtual Reality (VR) provided them with a temporary solution to reduce the pain and progress is still on its way.
Virtual Reality (VR) make itself at the service of the healthcare system. Not only to transform patients’ journey but also to help practitioners in their daily work. Not to have to operate if it is not needed, not to give medicines if Virtual Reality works on the patient general state. In the medical system, VR has a very positive impact!