Healthcare as a field has been at the
heart of mankind and its motive to strive for excellence. The field has
undergone immense change and has evolved tremendously over the years. The world
has shifted from traditional blood monitoring devices to wearable blood
monitoring devices. While the transformation has been huge, the destination is
still far and technology will help us in changing our perspective on Healthcare
and the associated practices. One of the key developments is the introduction
of Virtual Reality in the Healthcare sector.
Virtual Reality by its definition is a
three-dimensional world created with the help of computer peripheral devices.
The idea is to create a computer-generated world where the user can explore
ideas and concepts not existing in the real world. The level of interactivity
is so high that the user connects with the virtual world like he/she does with
the real world. This phenomenon is known as immersion or presence.
Virtual Reality has started to gain
traction owing to the attention garnered from government institutions and
private players who aim to use the technology in various streams of healthcare
such as neuroscience, psychology and pain management. The most recent example
is of using virtual reality to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for
war veterans. Virtually Better, a virtual reality company offers program known
as ‘Bravemind’. Under the program, the patients are exposed to situations that
can trigger traumatic stress response in a safe and controlled environment.
This helps the patients to recover in a better manner. The use of virtual
reality is going to increase dramatically because of the affordability factor.
Oculus Rift is expected to be launched for consumers in 2016 with a price tag
of $350-$400. The company has already distributed 100,000 units in the
development stage to raise awareness among medical community.
The future looks bright as the consumer
market explodes with myriad of companies offering Virtual reality Devices at
affordable prices. There is the issue of clinical efficacy associated which
needs to be solved by conducting randomized human trials at large scale. The
things will start to get interesting as the virtual reality devices are
seamlessly integrated with the EHR’s. There is a huge space for virtual reality
to grow by bringing in the concept of big data analytics, bio-sensing and
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