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5 ways the healthcare industry is using XR

/ 4 days ago

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) solutions have the ability to transform healthcare, from clinician to patient. VR training allows for low-risk training for high-risk scenarios and is a platform for detailed and personalised exposure to procedures, environments and equipment. Think practice surgeries, tours of hospital environments or witnessing complicated medical procedures up-close.

The global virtual reality in healthcare market size is predicted to grow 38% to $11.6 Bn by 2028*.

For patients, 360° VR content can be used as a distraction during medical procedures for a less painful experience or simply to make them feel more comfortable during procedures such as chemotherapy or dialysis. Immersive content is also effective for rehabilitation therapy for sufferers of traumatic brain injury or stroke and also for patients of dementia to trigger memories or emotions. It’s possible to transport the patient to a golf course, a peaceful park, church or even letting them take a seat at a kitchen table to stimulate appetite. Here are five ways the healthcare industry is embracing virtual reality and augmented reality...

1. Distraction and rehabilitation therapy

360° VR content can be used to give patients a more comfortable, less painful experience during medical procedures and also to restore and rehabilitate them from medical conditions. While providing dementia care, XR is effective in triggering a memory or familiar feelings (comfort, hunger, happiness) by stimulating all the human senses. You can transport the patients to give them the feeling of standing on a golf course, perhaps their 'Happy Place' for many years, watching the sunset by the seaside or even let them take a seat at a busy kitchen table set for lunch to stimulate the appetite. Another example is using VR experiences during intravenous therapy, allowing patients to have a, relatively, calmer and less painful experience by stimulating the brain with relaxing and calming experiences.

2. ‘Be The Ref’ VR experience for Mental Health in Rugby League

State of Mind Sport has been working in partnership with the Rugby Football League Match Officials Department, Juice Immersive and M7Virtual to put together a virtual reality experience. The first-person virtual reality experience, ‘Be The Ref’, is a compelling way to raise awareness of the role of the match referee and all of the pressures that come with it.

Juice Immersive, with collaborative partners M7 Virtual, set about devising a 360-degree lightweight camera rig that could be worn by a match official during a game to capture every angle of his or her experience throughout a game. The results of this early research and development were tested at a pre-season friendly between Warrington Wolves and Leigh Centurians in March 2021 when Super League referee Liam Moore donned the camera rig for the first half of Chris Hill’s testimonial game. Read more.

3. Medical training, best practices for treating COVID-19 patients

The University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications along with medical professionals came together to support doctors and nurses fighting Covid-19 by creating a VR medical training video that would demonstrate best practices in treating COVID-19 patients. Using an Insta360 Pro 2, the training video shows how to resuscitate a COVID-19 patient with respiratory failure. The aim of the video was to share insights and knowledge from those who have experienced many COVID-19 cases with those in areas of the US who had yet to see their first cases. Given the speed at which the virus spread, the project needed to be turned around quickly and effectively.

4. AR skills training for nurses

Udus AG is a specialist international recruitment consultancy. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company has offices in India and the UK and is actively working with the healthcare sector in UK and South Africa to provide medical doctors, surgeons and specialist nurses. Precise training is a fundamental element of Udus AG’s offering.

Udus AG designed a nurse training module using virtual reality (VR). The key project objectives were; the ability for the VR scenarios to run without educator supervision and for that purpose it needed an element of assessment built into the project; and secondly, it needed to have some kind of user interface to enable Udus to do this effectively. This also needed to sit on top of accurate asset creation and realistic user environments. Read our project spotlight to find out more.

5. 360˚ content for use with Hypnobirthing

360˚ content supports hypnobirthing by stimulating the brain with beautiful videos and a soothing soundtrack, enabling deep relaxation and reduced pain. The use of VR technology for pregnancy has been increasing in recent years. This technology has different applications in pregnancy, from reducing anxiety and pain to exercise training.

One of our 360˚ video creators specialises in this field, view his collection here.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant not only hospitals having to improve their training procedures for staff and volunteers but also care homes and those looking after the most vulnerable. A recent study conducted as part of the UK government’s TechForce19 challenge – in collaboration with VR training solution specialist Virti – has found improvements can be made when it comes to health and safety using immersive technology. Find the results of that study here:

  • Carers who used immersive tech saw a performance increase of 230.1% in comparison to 16.75% for the control group
  • Carers understanding of infection control measures was only 16% for the control group while the intervention group hit 92%, a significant difference of 76%.

We hope we have inspired you. If you would like to chat about how to create XR experiences, please get in touch here. For all questions or for more information please get in touch.

*Fortune Business Insights