Healthcare Revolutionized Predictions in the Future of XR Healthcare Revolutionized Predictions in the Future of XR
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Healthcare Revolutionized Predictions in the Future of XR

trends and predictions

Introduction

XR is revolutionizing how we learn, work, and deliver critical human services. It’s revolutionizing manufacturing, workplace safety, learning and training, risk-free training for first responders, healthcare and medical care, and enriching experiences for people living with disabilities

XR is here to stay, and it’s here to be.

XR IS IMPROVING THE PATIENT OUTCOME

From the operating room to the classroom, from pain relief to mental health, the use of XR in healthcare is growing.

Medical Education

XR enables medical students to rehearse techniques over and over again in lifelike virtual environments. XR is being used to dynamically remove layers of tissues and organ systems without compromising patient safety. Compared to conventional cadaver-based training models, in virtual environments, patients move and react as they would in real life, reducing mistakes and promoting better health outcomes.

Diagnosis

What if doctors were able to scan a patient’s body and diagnose health issues immediately? While this may seem like an impossible concept, XR technology is revolutionizing healthcare.

Doctors can use XR technology and 3D models in immersive environments to quickly identify a patient’s health issues. XR apps can help diagnose complex conditions such as arthritis, degeneration of tissue, tumors, fractures and more.

XR technology also provides pre-operative data. Extended reality allows for realistic 3D visualization which allows doctors to analyze better before making an incision.

Surgical training

VR provides hands-on surgical VR training that helps surgeons improve their surgical skills. One study found a 230% improvement in overall performance when VR-certified surgeons repaired fractured tibial nailing, compared to traditional trained surgeons.

Surgical support

XR enables surgeons to view their patients’ organs and tumors in real-time, as well as X-rays and ultrasounds, from multiple angles without distraction. Surgeons are utilizing Microsoft’s holographic technology, the HoloLens, to layer virtual, 3D projections of their patient’s anatomy atop their bodies, increasing efficiency and reducing procedure times.

PATIENT CARE

Stroke rehabilitation

VR systems have been developed to incorporate key neuroscientific and motor learning elements to support stroke survivors in their motor recovery. Studies have shown that VR systems activate the brain’s cortex, resulting in neuroplastic changes that improve functional recovery after a stroke.

Pain management

Medical professionals and scientists are investigating the potential of virtual reality (VR) as a safe and long-term substitute for opioids in pain treatment. VR alters patients’ moods and pain perception and also blocks pain signals from the brain. A study of neuropathic pain patients found a 69 per cent reduction in pain during a VR session and a 53 per cent reduction immediately afterwards.

Mental health

VR is also helping military veterans with PTSD, especially those who haven’t responded well to traditional treatments. In one recent therapist-led study, veterans were asked to walk on a treadmill and interact with images selected to reflect their traumatic events. After 12 weeks of VR treatment, participants reported 19% fewer PTSD symptoms than those who hadn’t received treatment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, navigating the ethical landscape of VR in healthcare necessitates a multifaceted approach. By prioritizing patient autonomy, ensuring informed consent, and upholding data privacy, stakeholders can mitigate ethical concerns. Moreover, ongoing dialogue among researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and ethicists is essential for establishing robust guidelines and standards. As VR continues to revolutionize healthcare, maintaining a vigilant ethical framework will be paramount in fostering trust, maximizing benefits, and safeguarding against potential harm. Through collaborative efforts, the transformative potential of VR technology can be harnessed responsibly for the betterment of patient care and well-being.

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