Virtual Reality and Healthcare? How the Two Are an Emerging Game Changer

Improving services is a constant theme in healthcare training. Training is hard, but practising can be even tougher as there is so little room for error. In addition, changing technologies and practices mean that both medical staff in training and those already qualified are continually facing new challenges.

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Learning on the job is typical and can come with its own issues. However, this ever-changing technology does have its benefits too.

How Virtual Reality Can Improve Healthcare

Imagine stepping into a trauma bay for the first time. The patient, the medical team, all the equipment and, of course, the stress are all there. But from 2017, trainees will be able to experience this in a virtual reality world. Their first experiences in this chaotic environment will be through the safety of a highly realistic headset.

Most professionals in training don’t feel like they receive nearly enough over-the-shoulder experience. However, by using VR in the trauma bay, the number of students potentially standing over the lead medic’s shoulder is limitless.

Safety, Expertise and Efficiency

Virtual training for a trauma room situation delivers three benefits to healthcare. It allows trainees the equivalent of on-the-job training without the risk of life-threatening error. It also brings the experience of real situational familiarity without the trainee getting in the way of more experienced medics. Finally, it allows a performance to be assessed for areas of improvement.

For everyone in the medical community, from the doctor to the insurance company and the contract research organization, introducing VR into the medical training is seen as a game changer. Safer and more cost-effective medical training will mean that even services such as those offered by will benefit from freer access to the pathway to expertise.

Currently, the pilot scheme with OhioHealth has shot three 20-minute virtual reality experiences which the student can enter. Each experience allows the student to look around, listen in on conversations and read medical monitors. The participant can change the location where they are standing, pause the action and replay portions of the event.

Just the Beginning

The team hopes to expand upon their current interactive experiences to acclimatize doctors in all professional areas. From mitigating phobias to improving doctor-to-patient relationships, VR can offer it all.

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