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Clinical experience training in health care has traditionally relied upon learning on-the-job with actual patients and malpractice risk. Industries such as aviation, construction, fitness, and many more have used Virtual Reality to solve dangerous training situations such as those the healthcare industry faces. When appropriately applied, VR helps medical professionals learn new skills and master existing ones without fear of making life-threatening mistakes to patients.
VR has numerous applications in the healthcare industry. Here are some ways it is changing how the industry operates.
VR can play a crucial role in helping patients control their pain by immersing them in a 3D environment via a VR headset. The applications can direct the patient’s mind away from stressful and painful scenarios to pleasant environments in which they learn to cope and overcome their trauma. When patients interact with provided VR items, the application traces body movements and offers instant feedback. Reduced pain in physical therapy offers a more comfortable experience that allows patients to heal faster, and as a result, reduces healthcare costs.
VR treatment is an effective tool to treat phobias. Therapists introduce fears gradually to their patients via the graded-exposure therapy method, and patients learn to grow resistant to the cause of their distress. VR can be customized to align with a patient’s needs, and the treatment is flexible enough to be done both at home and in the hospital.
Newly minted surgeons often shadow experienced surgeons during procedures. While this method works in small groups, larger ones may struggle to share equal exposure to the surgery. With VR, you can broadcast operations on mobile devices and headsets to allow a consistent learning experience. Medical professionals can then practice surgical procedures themselves in the virtual environment. If they make a mistake, they can start over without harming live patients.
Patients who survive a stroke or brain injury are susceptible to losing motor functionality. If physical 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 these repetitive actions easy and fun for the patients. The mental exertion helps their nervous system to convalesce faster than just lying there motionless.
See also: Virtual Occupational Therapy Assistant
The latest trend in the healthcare industry is to use robotic surgery. Here, a device performs the surgery, but a human surgeon controls it. These devices help reduce the time and cost of the procedure and the chances of complications.
For small children, particular objects and surroundings create a unique familiarity, which is why they feel the most secure at home. When admitted to the hospital for treatment, the new environment can cause them to feel scared and distressed. VR can get them closer to familiar surroundings and environments they are comfortable with so that they can ease their minds.
VR cannot replace hands-on training entirely, but simulation-based practice bolsters existing training in a safe environment. VR encourages mistakes, and learning from those mistakes is an integral part of the learning process.
Designing Digitally, Inc. is an expert in developing immersive and meaningful learning experiences using Virtual Reality. VR is one of the newest platforms to reach the training realm and is, without a doubt, the most engaging technology in our industry.
To talk more about integrating VR into your training strategies, get in touch with our experts today.
Please note this article was updated by our team on 3/23/2021.