2.5 minute read
Virtual reality video games, although not considered new, have paved the way for VR innovations in other industries such as education and healthcare.
Over the past few years, many VR companies have been working with hospitals and medical professionals to adopt VR into healthcare practices. The expansion and uses of VR in healthcare are just beginning and soon will become mainstream healthcare for many treatments.
According to Globe News Wire, the VR healthcare market is expected to grow to 1.53 billion dollars by the year 2026. This is likely because VR is expanding the ways we think and treat patients. Many healthcare professionals focused on VR treatment have reported promising results when patients use VR from pain management to reducing anxiety. One example is VR/AR technology being used in ambulances which allows doctors to provide and aid paramedics in real-time while the patient is transported to the hospital. Not only is this providing better care to people, it is also a life-saving tool that would not be possible without virtual reality.
Another example is the treatment and rehabilitation for mobility issues for seniors, disabled children, and adults who can benefit significantly from VR healthcare. Much like the work, we do at MARS VR Lab by using gamified VR for pediatric patients learning to drive a power wheelchair. Other companies such as XRhealth, MXT Reality, and REAL System are using VR treatments and apps for brain injuries and diseases for adults. These treatments can truly have a positive impact on patients and clinicians.
One recent study, that was done by XRHealth, showed how VR exercises monitored by clinicians helped 86.67% of patients with their physical treatment. When our product hits the market in early 2023, we at MARS VR Lab will be able to provide real-time feedback to clinicians who can then create a more tailored treatment for their patients. Not only is this a game changer, but it is also helping patients get the best possible care both in the hospital and at home.
In addition to the VR companies creating rehabilitation treatments, hospitals are focused on enhancing surgical training using VR. Companies like PrecisionOS are working to bring these solutions to help doctors receive important hands-on training and improve the accuracy and efficiency of surgeries. This will help new doctors receive more training before they enter the OR, or help seasoned doctors learn new skills in a safe and low-risk way.
The importance of VR adoption and standards
Although the advancement of VR in healthcare is exciting and promising it does not come without challenges. This is why adopting VR standards in the medical industry is critical to advancing our already overworked healthcare institutions. These issues were identified back in 2017 by the VRAR association. Fast forward to the end of 2022 and these roadblocks are still very real and prevent healthcare professionals and VR companies from getting augmented reality devices into hospitals.