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Virtual Reality Spurs Healthcare Innovation

Healthcare industry’s interest and investment in the technology to improve patient care is on the rise. The VR technology is impacting the following healthcare fields in a considerable way:

  • Pain management for routine procedures, such as blood draws and dental work
  • Analgesia for severe pain, such as what burn victims experience during wound care
  • Training and skill development for doctors and nurses
  • Treatment for psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder

Trauma: Yellow is a MedStar’s program that presents seven emergency scenarios to users, with each drill lasting about 20 minutes. This time is the same which is usually required to determine if a patient must be rushed to an operating room.

In one of the experiments under the program, a physical mannequin torso lies on a cart in the middle of a 10-by-10-foot simulation lab space. The designated team leader and participating residents and nurses are immersed in a virtual hospital room once they don the VR headsets, and the mannequin appears to be an actual patient on a stretcher.Clinicians perform chest compressions and other procedures andcan see a virtual dashboard that displays important CPR metrics. This includes how deeply and quickly they’re compressing the chest.

The status of patient’s improvement is determined by a physiology engine running in the background which does it by evaluating the impact of the team’s actions. A faculty member conducts a detailed debriefing at the end that compares the team’s performance with what is an optimum encounter for each scenario.

The pace at which VR is expanding its horizon into healthcare, we can expect to build a virtual world where we’ll be able to see important results in near future.

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