Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is the new way patients are diagnosed and treated. Remote surgery, hands on training, virtual medical learning, etc. are common applications of these two technologies in healthcare sector. Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone whereas, Virtual reality (VR) indicates a complete involvement experience that shuts out the physical world.
It is a well-known fact that healthcare industry in almost every country are facing challenges to serve the continuously increasing population. Some of the problems are logistical, like if the person is in places like mountains, it is difficult to reach there and some are permanent problems like the lack of required doctors in some institutions.
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Also the ever increasing demand of supplies has been a major issue for this industry. Providing quality products takes a lot of resources and funding.Well, it's a long list of problems. But there is a technology which can be a game changer and that is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Virtual Reality in Healthcare
The fields of application for virtual reality are actually quite numerous, but there's one area in particular where this technology should be developed, both for technological and humanitarian reasons: Healthcare/Medicine. This technology promises to help both doctors and patients. Below are some of the ways of how the VR is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.
Currently, medical students learn on cadavers, which are not so easy to get hold on and also do not react in the same way a live patient would. Also there are many parts which are not easy to access. But with Virtual Reality we can see each and every minute detail in 360°. We can reach and access the parts which aren’t possible in real life.
Augmented Reality in Healthcare and Medicine
Currently AR technology is used to train medical practitioners and also to train patients. Healthcare workers learns a lot of human body functions and anatomy. But with AR it gives them a completely new experience to interact with 3D body parts. It makes learning fun. Rather than just looking at 2D pictures, 3D representations give them the ability to explore and interact with each and every minute details.
Medical professionals needs experience before performing real surgeries. These days practitioners stay behind the professional surgeons while performing the surgeries. These doesn’t give them the required hands on experience. So to provide hands on experience AR can be used. Simulated environments and emergency scenarios can be created so that practitioners can interact with them in real time.
The key players influencing the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Healthcare Industry are Worldviz, General Electric Company, Eon Reality Inc., Layar, Hologic, Inc., Koninklijke Philips N.V., Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc., CAE Healthcare, Intuitive Surgical, TheraSim Inc.