Virtual Reality is not only contributing to the entertainment industry. In fact, this technology is being used by the hospital to create medical apps, from treatment to training.
Here are few examples of how VR is contributing to healthcare.
1. Pain Management
There is good technical proof that virtual reality (VR) can assist to relieve pain. The portions of the brain that are connected to pain –the insula and the somatosensory cortex – are lazy when a patient is occupied with virtual reality. In some cases, it can even assist people to bear medical techniques that are typically very painful.
Some studies have demonstrated that amputees can advantage from VR therapy. Amputees frequently feel unadorned aching in their lost limb, which can be difficult to cure with traditional techniques, and repeatedly doesn’t react well to strong sedatives like morphine and codeine.
Nevertheless, a method called “virtual mirror therapy”, which includes positioning a VR headset and monitoring a virtual version of the missing limb appears to assist certain patients to cope improved with this “phantom pain”.
2. Physical Therapy
VR can be utilized to keep the record of the body movements, letting patients use the actions of their treatment exercises as communications in a VR game. For instance, they are probably required to lift an arm above their head in order to clasp a virtual ball.
It is an added entertainment doing workouts in virtual reality in comparison with a gym, so patients are extra motivated to workout. It can assist with other techniques also. For instance, we discovered that for people who are apprehensive about walking, we can regulate their virtual environment. Thus, it seems as they are moving at a much slower pace than in reality. Once we do this, they certainly hurry up their walking. But they do not understand they are exercising. So, it is not related to anxiety or pain.
Learning how people observe and intermingle with VR systems assists us to create improved therapy applications.
3. Fears and Phobias
If you have an irrational fear of something, you might think the last thing you need is to see it in virtual reality, however, this is one of most established forms of medical VR treatment. Phobias are often treated with something called graded-exposure therapy, where patients are slowly introduced to their fear by a therapist.
Virtual reality is ideal for this as it can be attuned accurately to the requirements of each patient, and can be done at home or even at a doctor’s office. This is being utilized to cure fears of heights and spiders. However, it can also help people recuperate from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
4. Cognitive Rehabilitation
Patients who have brain injuries from illness or trauma, like stroke, frequently struggle with responsibilities that we do not take seriously, such as making plans for the weekend or shopping. Reconstructing these tasks inside virtual settings and letting patients rehearse them at cumulative stages of difficulty can fasten up reclamation and assist patients to recuperate an advanced level of cognitive function.
Doctors can also utilize these similar virtual environments as a valuation tool, noticing patients carrying out a diversity of real-world multifaceted tasks and classifying parts of memorial loss, abridged attention or trouble with decision-making.
5. Training Doctors and Nurses
Virtual reality is, unquestionably, not only for patients. It also proposes advantages to healthcare specialists. Training nurses and doctors to conduct monotonous techniques is time taking, and prepare a class usually needs to be distributed by an expensive and busy professional. Nevertheless, virtual reality is progressively being utilized to learn structure, rehearse operations and demonstrate infection control.
Being engrossed in an accurate replication of a process and performing the techniques and steps is better training instead of watching a video, or even standing in a packed room viewing an expert. With instant feedback, repeatable and controllable scenarios and low-cost VR equipment, we have an influential new education tool that spreads well beyond the classroom.