VR Is Fast Transforming the Health Space- Top 5 Adoptions.

by Guy Frum

We are going digital. The world keeps spinning as technology advances, Virtual Reality being more and more popular in different circles.
With this, the Healthcare sector seemed to lag behind as a survey conducted in the past showed only seven percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies had gone digital, compared to 15 percent of companies in other industries. However, this is starting to change.

Pain Management, OxyContin and The Opioid Crisis.

America is facing its worse drug crisis yet, making the country lose about $78.5 billion a year. The reason for this?
Doctors were giving out opioids like candy. Have you got a head-splitting migraine? Take some Oxy or a Vicodin. The result? Well, the drugs are effective up to a point until they start to become addictive. But many people still suffer from chronic pain.
But now, VR technology can now be used as a safer and better alternative to drugs. Today’s virtual reality programs can monitor and help relieve pain as well as depression, anxiety, stress, memory decline, and even stroke.
A recent survey conducted by the University of Washington, Seattle, and the UW Harborview Burn Centre indicated that full VR immersion for those undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft acted as a distraction and afterward reduced pain levels for the patients. VR for physical therapy has also been shown to be effective in speeding up recovery time.

Kobayashi Maru For Doctors

Are you a Trekker? And I don't mean someone who walks a lot but those that are fans of the Star Trek Universe. Then you must be familiar with the famous Kobayashi Maru test-cadets would take an exam where they would be put into an immersive program where they could test out real-life scenarios right there in the simulation.

VR offers exactly that for surgeons. A space where they can practice surgeries, hone their skills or plan complicated operations.

And an added bonus. Unlike the Maru test, which can only be taken three times, surgeons using VR can have a go as many times as possible.

Goodbye, Cadavers.

You heard right. Cadavers for Gross Anatomy are soon becoming a thing of the past. At least, real-life cadavers.
Dissection of cadavers has traditionally been used to teach gross anatomy for a very long time. Medical colleges worldwide have started decreasing contact hours in cadaver dissection laboratories—the storage and embalmment of said cadavers in addition to the unethical views of some.
Though conventional methods may not be completely pushed out, using VR has been shown to improve student attention, enjoyment, morale, and memory retention. Suggesting it would be effective to adopt VR alongside common methods.
Many schools and hospitals have adopted this and are using different VR tools or simulators to augment their anatomy curriculum.

AbbVie: Disease Awareness

Pharmaceutical research & development company AbbVie developed an experience to increase awareness amongst healthcare experts of the daily struggle of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
The experience was showcased at a pharmaceutical industry trade show where people could put on a headset and experience first-hand how the world looks and feels when you're a Parkinson’s sufferer.
As they navigate a virtual supermarket, having awkward moments when meeting with other people.

Mental Health and Medical Marketing

VR’s remarkable ability to take you into another world can be used to create powerful simulations of the scenarios in which psychological difficulties occur. Situations that are practically impossible to recreate, just like harrowing events that cause PTSD, can be conjured at the click of a mouse.
GlaxoSmithKline built VR into the heart of its “The Migraine Experience” campaign. In the experience, migraine patients selected the symptoms of their migraine and then handed the VR headset over to their non-migraine-sufferer partner to experience a migraine first-hand, albeit without the pain.

The headset reproduced some of the effects of a migraine, including blind spots, sensitivity to light, thumping headache, and disorientation.
GSK worked with migraine experts and technology VR experts on the campaign. GSK also released an app version so that anyone can download it at home and go through the experience on their smartphone.