Could you believe a couple of years ago that would be able to travel even without exiting your home? Me neither. Far less that some kind of virtual treatment (and, what is more, even surgery) will be a reality. A virtual one, but still a reality.
At the moment, the research found 39% of respondents very familiar with VR and 48% considering to start using VR in the nearest future. One more study shows that healthcare doesn’t want to lag behind the other industries and is actively adopting VR, namely into:
To be more specific, here’re some types of medical activities VR technology can be applied to:
- providing both HCPs and patients with curated information;
- ensuring robotic interventions;
- conducting virtual trials;
- enabling remote surgery;
- transforming medical education.
Let’s have a closer look at how healthcare and pharma professionals are already taking the advantage of VR and AR.
How doctors apply virtual reality in their daily practice
1. Next level of medical education. Narendra Kini, CEO at Miami Children’s Health System, noted that VR training improves knowledge retention – over a year the students (or doctors) can recollect almost 80% of the information received. At the same time, traditional trainings enable just 20% retention in a week.
Dr. Christopher Knoll, a Stanford pediatric cardiology expert, underlines that actually seeing the blood flow is an exciting thing, comparing to the plain static images medical students usually see.
Another healthcare professional, Dr. Luca A. Vricella, chief of pediatric heart transplantation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that visualizing processes as a 3D image can provide much more better understanding for medical students how heart surgery looks in real life.
What is more, VR brings a sense of gamification into medical education (e.g., during first aid studies). And the practice shows that learning through playing can really increase the efficiency of education, as Dr. Raphael Olaiya, NHS doctor states.
Dr. Justin Barad, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, specifies that passing training in somewhat real-life conditions will ensure “patient safety, decrease complications, and increase the learning curve for complex medical devices”.
2. First live-streamed surgery through 360O . Over a year ago, a breakthrough has happened: on April 14th, cancer surgeon Dr. Shafi Ahmed used a VR camera to broadcast an operation from London for the first time in the history of medicine. The intervention took 2 hours and during that time everyone could follow the operation flow by joining the live streaming through the specific mobile app and VR headset. HCPs believe such broadcasting will definitely contribute to training enhancement and make the healthcare more transparent.