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Virtual Reality – The Next Game Changer In Healthcare

Published By : IndustryARC | Published On : 2015-11-03

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 artificial intelligence.

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