If given a choice, do you think patients would rather be on a beach or an oncology ward?
Most likely, your answer is the beach.
What if I told you there is a technology that takes you on a mini-vacation while getting treated?
This isn’t fiction; it’s Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality.
In a recent pilot study at St. George’s Hospital patients were given a VR headset before and during their operation.
Throughout their procedure, the headset showed them calming landscapes.
- 94% of participants said that they felt more relaxed.
- 80% of the patients stated that they felt less pain after wearing the headset.
With such a massive increase in patient comfort, VR’s potential for patient treatment is clear.
Easing pain for patients
Did you know VR is also used to help ease labor pains?
Many pregnant women chose to have an epidural because of how severe the pain is.
VR is an excellent alternative for women who want a less painful birth without medication. Instead of opting for an epidural, they can immerse themselves in a calming VR environment.
Studies have found that VR also distracts patients from gastrointestinal, cardiac, neurological, and post-surgical pain.
VR/AR for rehabilitation
Furthermore, VR/AR helps patients with traumatic brain injuries or strokes.
Chances of recovery significantly improve if a patient begins rehab early.
Neuro Rehab VR brings a gamified approach to physical therapy.
In collaboration with physicians and therapists, Neuro Rehab develops VR training exercises. Using machine learning, they tailor activities according to patients’ specific therapeutic requirements.
Neuro Rehab VR aims to make physical therapy enjoyable and increase engagement.
In a study published last November, researchers found that mobility in children with cerebral palsy dramatically improved after VR therapy. This technology could be a profound addition to traditional rehabilitation techniques.
Telehealth and at-home treatment using VR
XRHealth is a Boston-based medical company.
They raised $7 million in funding for expanding their telehealth platform.
Flint Capital joined XRHealth in this VR-based platform for healthcare providers. It enables healthcare workers to treat patients both at home and in the clinic.
It’s a win-win for patients and providers. It optimizes doctor’s time and lets patients get treatment without leaving the comfort of their homes.
There are apps to support various patient needs – from stress management, to virtual support groups, to chronic pain management, and even memory care.
The company even sources licensed clinicians to provide therapy sessions in VR .
What’s great is that most major health insurance companies cover telehealth programs.
Eye treatment in VR/AR
Other than surgical procedures, AR/VR also has applications in the realm of eye-treatments.
Vivid Vision has a virtual reality treatment for lazy eye disorders.
Optometrists have been using this VR experience since 2015.
Recently the company has started offering an at-home lazy eye VR treatment. This at-home option allows for flexible and convenient treatment.
Vivid Vision states that treatment is effective for:
- And convergence inefficiencies
It works by increasing the visual stimulation to the weak eye and decreasing stimulation in the strong eye.
VR headsets already show two distinct images to each eye, so integrating this technology is seamless.
The treatment is carried out under the guise of a VR game:
- The experience shows essential elements in the game to the weaker eye.
- The brain depends on the information coming in from the weak eye to succeed in the game.
- Over time this strengthens the weak eye.
Eye doctors must prescribe Vivid Vision treatment.
First, they assess their patients to see if it will work for them. Then the doctors remotely monitor the progress of their patients.
The experience runs on Gear VR headsets, Vive, or Rift.
This is just the beginning of patient treatment in VR/AR
These are just a few examples of how VR/AR is altering the healthcare experience for patients.
With the cost of this technology constantly dropping, wide adoption is just around the corner.
While there are more expensive headsets like Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap, some VR headsets can be as low as $5.
Now is the time to explore how VR and AR can help your team move into more efficient patient treatment!
If you want your company to become an industry leader in VR or AR technologies we are here to help.
At Reflective Brands we offer complimentary consultations and work with your team in any development stage ? from brainstorming through development and launch.