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Virtual Reality Healthcare

Better presentation to patients

Nowadays, the healthcare professionals are mainly using the virtual technology to polish their surgical skills, assist in the learning process and provides treatments both using traditional approaches and extended technology. However, we would hope that the healthcare professionals can utilise the extended technology to further explain to the patients about the operations they are going to have. For instance, using the 3D model to visualise the organs and show the brief process of the surgery to allow the patients having better understanding and empower them to make better medical decisions for themselves1. Also, having more information about the surgeries can lessen their worries and anxiety as well. This practice might require more time-cost and effort from the medical facilities, however, with rapid enhancements of extended technology, the time-cost would be reducing and the efficiency for carrying out the practice would be increasing gradually.

Getting smaller and lighter

Even the extended technology is offering numerous of benefits, the size of the weight and size of the technology are overwhelming the users if they use for long period of time. Like the head-mounted display products, they are now bulky and make your head feeling heavier over time. Therefore, the developers would be focusing on making the devices more lighter, smaller and convenient for the users2.

Virtual Reality HMD
virtual reality eye tracking

Photo source: www.freepik.com

Development of extended technology features

The Oculus Quest 2 is already equipped with hand detection function and HTC Vivo Pro Eye headset is equipped with eye tracking function. Bernard also forecasted that these two become the main functions adding into the coming new headsets’ features. When the hand detection technology becomes more mature and can be applied in medical industry, then the patients will not need to hold any consoles or controllers during having virtual medical treatments. It would alleviate their physical burdens especially if they got arm injuries. Also, with the eye tracking function, the healthcare professionals can easily know what the patients are paying attention to and what interests them the most. So, the healthcare professionals know how and when to draw their attention back. Particularly for those who are not able to physically disabled, they can simply use the extended technology with eye tracking function.

Cybersickness

Cybersickness is the biggest issue of extended reality technology because Cybersickness can induce nausea, disorientation, instability, dizziness and fatigue due to the discrepancy between the user’s visual and vestibular sensory systems. These negative experiences can stop users from adopting the technology. The developers will have to minimise the discrepancy and mimic the interactivity and fidelity of real-life interactions as much as possible3. If this issue could be solved, then more patients would be benefited.

At the end, hope the ever-changing extended reality technology can continuously to bring benefits to both patients and healthcare professionals, lessen their burdens during the recovery journeys.

  1. Donna Marbury, “What Doesthe Future Hold for AR and VR in Healthcare”, HealthTech, 23 November 2020 https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2020/11/what-does-future-hold-ar-and-vr-healthcare
  2. Bernard Marr, “Future Predictions of How Virtual REality And Augmented Reality Will Reshape Our Lives”, Forbes, 4 June 2021 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2021/06/04/future-predictions-of-how-virtual-reality-and-augmented-reality-will-reshape-our-lives/?sh=1747d34868b4
  3. Aalap Herur0Raman, Neil D. Almeida, Walter GReenleaf, Dorian Williams, Allie Karshenas and Joanthan H. Sherman, “Next-Generation Simulation – Integrating Extended Reality Technology Into Medical Education”, Frontiers, 7 September 2021 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frvir.2021.693399/full