Transforming lives through VR

Vidya Krithivasan

From developing new life-saving techniques to training the doctors of the future, VR has a multitude of applications for health and healthcare, from the clinical to the consumer.

When we think about virtual reality, we usually tend to link it with entertainment. How many of us know that VR creates a revolution in the healthcare industry? It has made a significant improvement in the lives of people with autism, chronic pain, and other health conditions.

 The global VR healthcare market is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2025 according to a new report.


 Treating addicts with VR technology involves recreating a typical drug use environment based on the users’ experiences. A cigarette, an alcoholic beverage or a syringe is placed in this recreated environment. The person addicted to the drugs is expected to resist the drug or alcohol craving despite the triggers placed in front of them. Psychologists monitor the users’ responses to find out whether the cravings are triggered or not. Researchers can be able to tell to what extent the participant is able to resist the urge. In addition, the users are taught how to resist these cravings
The use of these advanced technologies in live streaming of surgeries for medical education coupled with patient monitoring & pain management serves as a market opportunity and is predicted to drive the segment substantially. These new disruptive technologies have revolutionized the medical field and provide an innovative approach for transforming healthcare experience. The increasing focus on streamlining medical operations along with the demand for better delivery of care services are driving the growing adoption of these technologies.

In the last decade, there has been an exponential increase in the number of surgeries done by robots. Robotic surgery has developed as a platform for Virtual reality. Robotic surgery is a recent innovation in which surgery is performed using a robotic device, e.g. a robotic arm which is controlled by a human surgeon. This means fewer risks of complications during surgery and a faster procedure. The robotic device is accurate, meaning smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, and faster recovery. Virtual reality enables the surgeon to control the movements of the robotic arm, in particular, small, delicate movements which would be difficult to perform by a human surgeon. Another use is ‘remote telesurgery’ where the patient is operated on by a surgeon who is in a different location. In other words, he or she is in a separate location to the patient.


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