Mixed Reality in Healthcare and its New Possibilities

The World of Technical Reality (Augmented/Virtual/Mixed) brings new possibilities and opportunities especially for Clinical Care, Healthcare practices, and Medical Education.
Mixed reality (MR) combines the best of Virtual reality and Augmented reality by blending of the real-world environment with digital elements through HMD’s (head-mounted displays). Microsoft HoloLens is a hands-free experience with gestures, voice, and holographic interaction. 
Mixed Reality is an emerging technology that has enormous potential, especially in Medical education. Some examples are outlined below,
  • Learning human anatomy through cadaver dissection method is a part of medical curriculum. The disadvantages associated with this method, like dissection labs being difficult and expensive to maintain, too many students having to work on the same body, health risks of prolonged formalin exposure and dead body contact and sometimes ethical issues too. This is where a Mixed Reality System can provide immense advantages. It allows medical practitioners to view, interact, and virtually dissect replicas of patient’s organs and systems.
  • Students can practice various situations through repetitive trials with 3-D simulations and gain expertise before treating real patients.
  • Similarly, surgeons who need to perform complicated and intricate operations can benefit using 3-D imagery with HoloLens to plan and practice alignment of surgical instruments with better accuracy.
  • It is a known fact that Healthcare practitioners deliver an element of risk when they are on a learning curve. Mixed Reality using HoloLens has brought an encouraging perspective to this scenario. 

These are some of the ways that Mixed Reality is drawing a lot of attention and paving the way for phenomenal outcomes in the Healthcare sector.

As smart reality technology continues to transform the Healthcare industry, at MedicusTech we align ourselves and stay ahead by leveraging our expertise, innovation, and resources.

Is Virtual Reality shaping the future of Healthcare?

New technology is impacting every industry and Healthcare is no exception.

“VR is a computer generated, immersive and three-dimensional environment that is displayed either on a computer screen or through special stereoscopic displays, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift etc.”

Help train the next generation of physicians

VR is a cost-effective and engaging method for training students and medical practitioners in complicated surgical procedures. It provides an immersive realistic environment for effective hands-on training to improve surgical precision and patient outcome. 
An example is the heart catheterization simulation available in UC Davis Center for Virtual Care. Cardiologists find it easy to perform on a mannequin named “Samantha” that provides a realistic experience, completely risk-free.
Learning from remote locations is made easier using virtual reality simulation. 

For Pain Management and Rehabilitation

Patients who feel severe pain such as amputees or burn victims can benefit from VR therapy.

We shall understand how - Virtual Reality helps to alleviate the psychological and physical pain experienced during medical procedures to a large extent by distracting the mind with immersive experiences.
For example – in a Los Angeles hospital, patients in chronic or acute pain use special headgear to travel virtually through scenic Iceland, waterfalls & valleys and ease from different pain.
VR and video gaming to enhance stroke rehabilitation has been helpful to patients to regain their cognitive skills at their own time and pace.

Fitness management

Fitness Management is made a lot more fun and less monotonous through virtual worlds. Depending on the game being played, users can interact and activate their upper body, core, or lower body. Users are engulfed in images, sounds and enjoy an immersive exercise experience. 

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Although still in its infancy, Virtual Reality exposure therapy has significant potential to provide relief from post-traumatic stress and extreme phobias. One of the certified treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is prolonged exposure to traumatic events in both imaginary and real-life settings. VR can help boost the efficiency of exposure therapy by creating fictitious, safe, and acceptable situations.

These are just few of the significant examples of Virtual Reality providing a transformative experience in the way healthcare operates. Apart from the emotional benefits such as enhancing entertainment, empathy, creativity, and expression, VR offers a host of practical advantages too; in various therapies and treatments to improve patients’ health and well-being. We need to tap into its full potential big time!