With advancements in technology occurring at light speed, it’s no surprise that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are changing healthcare. What do healthcare marketers need to know about these technologies?
Virtual Reality (VR) artificially creates sensory experiences, including sight, sound and touch. Most famously, VR is experienced with Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard – though many more players are entering the space.
Augmented Reality (AR) overlays computer generated graphics or video on top of the real world we see before us. By projecting a digital layer of information on top of our personal reality, AR gives us the ability to digitally enhance what we see.
This trend report focuses on how Virtual Reality will impact healthcare brands in 2017.
The next in the series will explore AR.
How will healthcare brands use Virtual Reality in 2017?
VR in the healthcare sector is gaining rapid interest with many applications. Healthcare and pharmaceutical brands are leveraging VR for medical training, practice, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and education. Here are some of the top trends for 2017.
1. VR for medical simulation, training, and education.
Virtual Reality training for minimally invasive procedures, surgeries, and complex operating room situations is a high value application for VR. The use of 360° training and simulation prepares physicians for surgical situations with incredible accuracy, allowing surgeons across the world to reach a new level of performance. In addition, with the visual aid of real-time 360° video during surgery, surgeons can pinpoint procedures with exacting accuracy.
2. 360° live-streaming of surgeries.
Watching a surgery in 360° Virtual Reality is a fully immersive real-world operating room experience and a game changer for surgical education. Medical students and members of the public will be able to watch more and more live surgeries in 360°. They will be able to dynamically pan and zoom around the surgical environment and see the operation in detail, including the precise placement of tools and surgical staff. This technology will improve the way that surgeons connect globally and modernize the way surgical training is done.
3. Training for ER doctors, paramedics, first-responders.
VR allows emergency medical personnel to simulate high intensity situations to prepare for the worst. First responders to traumatic events now have an added edge when arriving on scene. Paramedics are using VR to acclimate themselves to any emergency so they can be prepared to act quickly and save lives. For example, how do you provide care for a stroke victim in a loud nightclub, a car accident victim on a busy highway, or a burn victim at the scene of a fire? By taking advantage of VR, these scenarios can be practiced and simulated with alarming realism.
4. Patient’s will tour hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities from home.
The same way that Amazon changed shopping, VR will change how patients select healthcare providers. Whether you are mom-to-be looking for the right labor and delivery facility, a surgery patient looking for the right in-patient rehabilitation center, or a dad looking for a dentist for your children, you can now experience your healthcare options in Virtual Reality. Healthcare treatment facilities will invest in Virtual Reality experiences that drive patients to choose their care centers over the competition.
5. VR will transform how we treat chronic pain.
Anyone who has experienced long term severe pain will understand the need to distract the mind. Pain and trauma victims of all ages are finding relief and escape in VR. As the technology becomes cheaper and more widely available, hospitals are leveraging VR to treat what even morphine can’t subdue in some instances. VR is effective in the treatment of pain because it increases cognitive activity which is known to inhibit the transmission of pain signals to the brain. In the case of children fighting severe illnesses, VR brings a level of normalcy to the lives of those who struggle to find it. VR can transport users to new worlds, whether it’s gaming, a meditation simulation or a simple stroll in the park for those incapable of leaving their hospital rooms.
VIVA VR Studios is on the leading edge of Virtual Reality in Healthcare.
Virtual Reality is transforming the healthcare industry. By 2020, the market for VR will exceed $150 billion, and healthcare brands are leading the way in leveraging the power of this growing technology for medical training, practice, psychiatry, rehabilitation, education, and improvement of patient outcomes.
How will you use VR as part of your marketing strategy?
Contact VIVA VR Studios to get started.