Virtual Reality in the Health Industry
Virtual Reality has been omnipresent during the few last years, and carried by spectacular efforts in marketing, staff training and -obviously- in the gaming world. It is gaining traction in other fields as well, such as the Helth industry.
Assisted intervention was born out of the Télémanipulateur in the 80s, which was itself inspired by tools NASA was using at the time.
During the 90s, CAS (computer assisted surgery) is already in use in departments like Maxilo facial, heart or orthopedy surgeries.
Nowadays, VR keeps on increasing the ways it can help surgeons enabling unheard of remote procedures and new tools when it comes to learning or diagnosing.
Here are some exemples:
On October 24th, 2007, VR enabled a surgeon based in London to assist a colleague carrying an operation in Mumbai. The physical representations of the two surgeons were illustrated by avatars as they could share live information about the procedure.
VR in the health industry presents many benefits, and it is easy to understand the appeal of higher degrees of immersion, magnification and precision that surpass other technologies like video conferences.
These benfits are important to patients too. It can help in re-education, pain management or in the field of well-being.
Tremendous progress has been achieved with paraplegic or amputed patiens. For instance, exo skeletons moving thanks to cerebral control are possible! It is made possible by interpreting cerebral waves onto a virtual body that activates the exo skeleton and enable the patient to control the equipment. There is a learning curve to it, and some patients could regain control of their movement in 12 months!
With Google, Apple and Microsoft creating technological environments to encourage innovation in virtual reality, augmented reality or even mixed reality, we are likely to see more and more applications in the health industry, be it in hospitals or for the benefit of patients at home.
14eight, as an agency speacialised in technologies for the health and well being industries, keeps a close eye on VR, AR and MR. If you would like to exchange, we would be more happy to discuss and discover more ways to improve people’s lives together.