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Traditionally, clinical experience in health care had relied on learning on-the-job, dealing with real patients. Now, that can be quite risky and involve harm to life. Virtual reality (VR) has been used extensively by other industries like aviation, construction, and so on. Based on the success it has received in these industries, healthcare has also warmed up to the use of simulation-based training. When applied properly, VR helps medical professionals to learn new skills and master existing ones without fear of making mistakes. It is an effective platform to bridge the gap between both classroom and real-world.
VR has numerous applications in the healthcare industry. Here are some ways it is changing how the industry operates.
VR plays a crucial role in helping patients control their pain. Doctors can trick the patient’s brain with the help of a VR headset and distract them from the physical pain they feel. The applications divert the patient’s mind from distress and pain scenarios to pleasant environments that help them cope with the trauma. VR applications add the fun quotient in physical therapy treatments. The patients are given virtual things that they need to touch with their hands and legs. The application traces all the body movements and provide instant feedback to the patients. Reduced pain means the patient has a chance to recover faster. This helps them save on healthcare costs.
VR treatment is great for treating phobias. Therapists introduce fears gradually to their patients. This is called graded-exposure therapy and it helps patients overcome their fears. A huge benefit of this treatment is that it can be customized based on individual needs of the patient. The treatment is flexible and can be done both at home and at the hospital. The graded-exposure therapy is a great way to treat patients with psychotic disorders.
For newly minted surgeons, a part of the training is to shadow experienced surgeons during the procedure, circling around him while he does the job. This works well with small groups. But if there is a large group, not everyone may have had a good view of the procedure. This problem is eradicated with VR. Operations can be broadcast on mobile devices and headsets for the learners. They can view the procedure clearly in real-time. Imagine how much cost and time can be saved in this manner. Also, the medical professionals can practice surgical procedures themselves, in the virtual environment. If they go wrong somewhere, they can start over without harming real patients.
Patients who survive a stroke or any kind of brain injury are susceptible to losing functions. If their therapy begins soon after the damage, they have a higher chance of getting back their lost functions. VR applications allow patients to rehearse limb movements. The patients may not be moving their limbs, but it helps improve their level of attention and motivation. The apps make this repetitive actions easy and fun for the patients. The mental exertion helps their nervous system to convalesce faster than just lying there motionless.
The latest trend in the healthcare industry is to use robotic surgery. Here, a device performs the surgery but it is controlled by a human surgeon. These devices help in reducing the time and cost of the procedure, as well as the chances of complications.
For small children, certain objects and surroundings create a special familiarity. They feel secure at home. So, when they are admitted to the hospital for treatment, they feel insecure and distressed. VR can get them closer to their surroundings or even loved ones. It is possible to ease their minds and make them feel at home with the help of VR applications. That way, they recover faster and are less traumatized.
Hands-on training cannot be completely replaced. Simulation-based practice bolster their existing training in a safe environment. VR encourages mistakes, and learning from those mistakes is an important part of the learning process.
Designing Digitally, Inc. is an expert in developing immersive and meaningful learning experiences using Virtual Reality (VR). VR is one of the newest platforms to reach the training realm and is, without a doubt, the most engaging technology in our industry.
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