Virtual Reality is more than just something to impress on your computer screen. In today’s modern application, it has started to revolutionize various fields. Today, we discuss the top 3 ways VR is changing healthcare.
Virtual Reality is making big waves in helping to relive pain in patients. It works by limiting the activity of the somatosensory cortex along with the insula. Both are highly reactive when a person is experiencing pain. However, if a person is in an immersive environment like what virtual reality provides, it can serve as a pretty effective distraction which helps to relieve pain.
From some of our writer’s personal experiences, whenever the prospect of imminent pain is inbound, they find it easier to escape to other worlds by distracting their thoughts. If you can think back to the movie Fight Club, it is pretty much like Edward Norton’s ice cave mental escapism.
Instead of relying on the mental capabilities of a patient in order to suitably divert their attention, virtual reality provides a more immersive way to distract patients from their current state.
The concept of phantom pain is nothing new. This is often reported as the lingering sensations in limbs that are no longer there. Virtual reality is used in therapy which helps people who experience phantom pain cope with the loss and “pain” better.
It is not just the patients who get to utilize virtual reality. This newly enhanced technology is now getting tapped into to train the future members of the healthcare field. Virtual reality is now used in simulations that medical students and even medical professionals can undergo to enhance their skills.
This is particularly helpful with surgeons. The normal procedure of practice would be to work on cadavers or to sit in when an actual surgeon is performing a procedure or a patient. Healthcare professionals need to be able to practice their craft with a hands-on approach. Virtual reality provides that.
While there were some voices of concern due to the perceived cost of VR simulations, which technology advancing more and more every year, there are now lower cost virtual reality equipment available. Also, the software gets better every year—making the room for error smaller and the simulation more realistic.
After all, we will want medical staff that will be able to do what is necessary when the real thing happens.
Better Physical Therapy
One of the hardest things for patients to do at times is undergo physical therapy. After all, you can beautify a rehab center all you want but it will never be anything more than a place where people force themselves to move.
With virtual reality, patients are immersed into a completely different environment. They can do the movements that are required but in a whole different light. Simulations and software can make it seem like they are catching balls or planting things when they are not actually doing any of that. What results is a more fun workout. Why just focus on getting better when you can have fun doing it as well?
As you can see, virtual reality is having a big hand in revolutionizing healthcare. What do you think?