Augmented and Virtual Reality in Medicine and Healthcare

MD: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Medicine are groundbreaking solutions helping the healthcare industry to become more efficient and engaging. Learn more about healthcare challenges and how AR & VR provide effective solutions to tackle these problems.

You cannot do without healthcare. It holds the key to a productive life. Understandably, healthcare has been open to new technologies. Investment in digital health technologies topped $44 billion in 2021.

One such technology is Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Healthcare AR has contributed immensely to a better overall quality of life for patients and has led to more efficient healthcare delivery. The field of surgery is perhaps its greatest beneficiary as surgeries are rehearsed and perfected before the operation.

In this post are the healthcare sector’s challenges and the uses of AR and VR in healthcare.

Courtesy: Statista

Trials and Issues of the Healthcare System

Challenges constantly bedevil the healthcare sector. Admittedly, human lives are at stake; hence it is a sector prone to problems. Among these problems are access to healthcare in remote locations and the need for qualified medical practitioners. Another issue is the need for more medical equipment or facilities.

One solution to deal with these issues is implementing VR in medicine. We will explain why it is the perfect solution.

AR/Virtual Reality in Medicine

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality are not new concepts. They have been around and are mostly used in entertainment. Globally, VR in the healthcare market was worth $459.0 million in 2021 but is forecast to grow from $628 million in 2022 to around 6.20 billion in 2029. Medical VR has been a welcome development for physicians and surgeons. It offers a more convenient way to treat patients for doctors and contributes to overall service delivery.

Unlike other industries, VR is not a fancy feature but a critical part of medicine. The possibilities of Augmented Reality in Medicine will revolutionize the sector in different ways. Let’s look at it in detail.

Uses of Virtual Reality in Medicine

There are several ways VR and AR improve medicine for patients and doctors.

Better patient experience

Patients should only be concerned about being healthy and alive. That’s what we’re told. AR and VR in healthcare are changing the narrative. Patients can enjoy an immersive experience while undergoing treatment. Patients can keep in touch with loved ones far away while recuperating in the hospital. Also, for patients with chronic pain, AR can soothe their pain through an immersive experience. VR enables patients to be more involved with their health.


Psychological Relief and Treatment

The beauty of VR is its ability to switch environments from the present to heightened reality. This ability helps sufferers of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorders to experience more relaxed surroundings. For instance, a depressed person is transported to a happy place which helps lift his mood. AR has greatly helped people living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to relax and control the occurrence of attacks.

Amputees can use AR to enjoy the feel of their missing limbs and to get used to their conditions.

Data Visualization/Body Mapping

Medical treatment involves a wide range of data. From test results to physical examination results, much data is generated. Doctors have to analyze all this data to make a proper prescription. AR in medicine highlights these data points on the patient’s body instead of data in different forms. For instance, a person involved in an accident can be quickly assessed using special goggles showing all injured parts with the relevant data.

However, aggregating data involves many sensors communicating on a secure network, which is presently difficult to implement.

Advanced Diagnostics/Risk Assessment

Diagnosing a patient is a tedious endeavor and must be precise. Before diagnosing, doctors must factor in many details, such as veins, blood groups, allergies, etc. What AR does is help doctors look through the patient, note all vital signs and help them make accurate decisions on diagnostics. In other words, AR breeds an efficient treatment plan considering all the data and relevant information.

Surgery Run-Throughs

The surgery takes intricate planning before getting to theater room. Invasive surgery involves going through several internal organs. Virtual Reality technology helps surgeons to create a model of the operation, factoring in all possible scenarios. The technology will reduce the mistakes.

Surgery Assistance

Surgery rehearsals are possible with Virtual Reality. Thanks to VR, an expert surgeon in a different location can devise a foolproof plan for another team to utilize. Not just a team of human surgeons, a robot surgeon can take the information and perform the surgery to perfection, thereby solving the problem of the non-availability of experts.

Medical Education

Medical trainees also reap the benefits of VR in medicine by simulating likely scenarios. The human anatomy becomes visible through a 360 view in a heightened reality. Trainees don’t have to cut up a corpse to see the makeup of internal organs. VR makes it faster and easier to teach doctors about the human body. With VR, a more rewarding and engaging teaching method is possible.

Doctor Consultation

VR technology brings the doctor closer to the patient. Even if the patient may be far away in places like a research center in Antarctica or a Space station, a doctor can physically examine the patient. Therapy sessions and medical observations are also possible through VR.

Emergency Navigation

One of the goals of technology is to make healthcare more convenient and accessible. Healthcare apps are great examples of how technology can help medicine. Similarly, Virtual Reality in Medicine enables a person to quickly locate the nearest hospital or pharmacy, especially in an emergency. Location apps may sometimes need clarification and are not helpful within a large complex like a hospital. VR is more accurate and quickly shows the locations of departments within a complex like the emergency ward.

Future of Virtual Reality in Medicine: Win-Win

VR & AR technology undoubtedly makes healthcare more interesting and accessible to people. Doctors also enjoy the benefits of this technology through more precise diagnosis and better healthcare delivery. The possibilities of AR & VR in the medical industry will yield more uses in medicine soon.

You, too, can integrate VR & AR into your business, and you are in the right place. App Solutions is an app development company with expertise in building AR apps such as AR Places Map for navigation.