Virtual Reality A new dimension

The advent of the twenty first century has brought with it new ideas and technologies, one among them being virtual reality. With infinite possibilities, virtual reality could become one of the most useful and adaptive pieces of hardware for people around the world. Today however, we'all be taking a look at how it's affecting out health, more specifically, our healthcare.

Virtual Reality in Medicine

Along with consumer products, virtual reality has made a real splash in the fields of medicine and healthcare. The University of South Carolina's "MedVR" has introduced a variety of different functions such as the ability to monitor patients mental and behavioral health. The lab helps to treat stress-related disorders such as PTSD.

Additionally, across 37 studies with over 1000 patients suffering from strokes, virtual reality rehabilitation was found to have a positive impact. 8 studies found that virtual reality improved everyday motor function in patients arms. On top of this, very few patients reported negative impacts, such as headaches or dizziness. It should be noted, however, these tests still need additional testing on a long term basis.

Along with helping in patient rehabilitation, virtual reality is helping in surgical training. In past years both teachers and students alike have expressed feelings of inadequacy in training procedures, with 4 in 5 students voluntarily extending their training beyond required the required length. However, a start up company in San Fransisco named Osso VR aims to change that.

While the project is still in its alpha stages, it is seeing some promising results. It's currently undergoing a validation test at UCLA, and the results appear to be promising. The simulations are highly emmersive, include full hand and head tracking, and provide haptic feedback. While these kinds of projects will never fully live up to a true surgical experience, they are helping to provide students get hands-on expirience in a low stakes inviorment.

Not actually Osso VR

Thanks for reading!

Sources

"Research." Institute for Creative Technologies Medical Virtual Reality Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Cochrane." Virtual Reality for Stroke Rehabilitation | Cochrane. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Virtual Reality Surgery Simulators Could Help Train Future Surgeons." Virtual Reality Surgery Simulators Could Help Train Future Surgeons | Managed Health Care Connect. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

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