immersive technology

Immersive technology in Healthcare: Scope & Impact

The global workplace and people will have altered substantially by 2025. Immersive Technology is expected to play a key role in this. It will change the way people learn, train, and work. This cutting-edge technology includes Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) . Virtual Reality immerses viewers in an artificially produced realistic interactive environment, whereas Augmented Reality depicts virtual goods while keeping them in actual realms, and Mixed Reality combines the two to provide cutting-edge experiences.

Scope of Immersive Technology

Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is, as the name implies, entirely virtual. It immerses the user in a simulated landscape. Virtual reality games are the most well-known application. People are seated in a bobbing chair and wearing a virtual reality headset. We see a person bobbing up and down and side to side on a chair, but the user is feeling something quite different. He may be on a rollercoaster, bobsledding through zombie territory, or any of the other numerous options that we leave to your imagination. So, that’s virtual reality. Virtual reality has been shown to be extremely effective in medical rehabilitation.

Augmented reality: Although it is called augmented reality, it is not entirely virtual. Virtual information is superimposed on real-world surroundings in augmented reality. The famed PokemonGo is the most well-known AR application. You know how it works if you’ve ever gone on a Pokemon search in your neighbourhood. AR enhances the actual world by superimposing digital elements on top of it. As a result, when seen with an AR tablet or smartphone, you will be immersed in a reality that differs from the real one. The use of augmented reality for teaching is likely to revolutionise the efficiency of healthcare practitioners.

Mixed reality: The term “mixed reality,” or “MR,” refers to the merging of augmented reality and virtual reality. That is, it allows both physical and virtual realities to interact and be manipulated. We can learn about the workings of MR by looking at one of the world’s most powerful heroes, Iron Man aka Tony Stark. Unlike AR, which simply overlays virtual things on real-world backdrops, MR ties virtual objects to them. As a result, we’ll be able to manipulate it with MR HoloLenses. By projecting a 3D picture, MR in medical care aids in the handling of complex procedures, making it easier for surgeons to understand and explain the anatomy.

Where Challenge Lies?

Here’s a quick rundown of the current health-care challenges:

According to statistics, the medical industry is responsible for at least 14 adverse occurrences out of every 100 hospitalizations. These errors can arise during surgical procedures, diagnosis, treatment/medicine prescriptions, and so on. It is human to make mistakes, but losing lives due to preventable mistakes is a blow to the life-saving medical industry.

1. Medical Information Explosion

The medical literature is always increasing, necessitating ongoing (and difficult) education. According to experts, keeping up with the current developments requires a General Practitioner to invest 21 hours per day. It’s impossible to achieve this in today’s healthcare environment, which is characterized by high demands (nor can traditional training make up for this). As a result, we may have doctors who are competent but not well-educated enough to create success stories.

2.Access to Technology

Everything that has to do with development requires access to technology. According to statistics, 23% of healthcare workers say they don’t have enough access to technology, and a few more say they don’t have enough access to technical training. This makes it difficult to carry out efficient activities.

3.Training Methodology

The medical field isn’t devoid of capable and committed workers. It is critical that these valuable resources receive sound training in order to meet the sector’s demands. To do this, today’s medical education must be updated to reflect modern-day advancements and norms.

4.Availability of Personnel

Hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the high volume of work, which includes emergency situations. One of the most pressing issues that must be addressed is the scarcity of professionals for medical emergencies.

How AR VR is going to help?

1. Augmented Surgery

AR as a surgical tool technically does what it’s supposed to do: it superimposes a computer-generated image over a surgeon’s perspective of the operating field, giving the surgeon a composite view of the patient and improving the operative experience.

That’s just one advantage; let’s look at what else it could bring to the surgical field:

To begin, it can be utilised for surgical training, surgical preparation, and the actual surgical procedure. AR can also give imaging data and other patient information, which could save lives and reduce medical errors.

  • During surgery, AR pictures can better depict main veins, nerves, and other structures on a patient. This improves the operation’s safety while also shortening the processing time.

Multiple CT pictures and data displays do not show critical information about the patient’s condition. All photos and patient data are combined into a single AR visual display, allowing clinicians to better monitor their patients’ health.

The OpenSight Augmented Reality System was just approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) due to its persuasive and proven effectiveness. The medical solution, which includes a teaching edition, is the first to be officially released for pre-operative surgical planning. Equipment, such as OT (Operation Theatre) screens, constitute the foundation of any surgical process. AR could be used to replace and reduce the need of me

2. VR for Healthcare Training

Effective training approaches result in sound healthcare practises and behaviour. The impact of general training and public awareness efforts may fade over time. In contrast, VR training has a long-term impact on people’s behaviour and retention; in fact, studies show that after a year of training, VR training has an 80% retention rate, but traditional training has a 20% retention rate after a week of instruction.

3.Virtual Mistakes

Before confronting a crucial patient, the training method allows prospective specialists to make mistakes realistically so that they can grasp the implications of improper methodology or behaviour. It is cost-effective because it can lower the cost of healthcare training, which would otherwise be incurred through travel expenses, physical training facility operating costs, and equipment usage. Furthermore, it enables for repeated personnel training with/without incurring negligible additional costs.

Virtual Reality also allows for the recording and use of activities for evaluation, debriefing, and reporting, opening up new possibilities for healthcare training data analytics and insights.

4.Coordination

The medical field, like practically all others, necessitates coordination with other team members in terms of medical emergency responses, team surgery, and so on. The ability to diagnose, intervene, and heal patients requires this level of synchronization. Medical practitioners can train together in virtual reality and practise joint decision-making.

5.Artificial, yet Realistic

Virtual Reality is the pinnacle of all things realistic, thanks to a wholly fake depiction. To put it another way, it can transport users to the human body and simulate how a patient would react to certain events. Rather, virtual reality displays minute details of bodily parts and accurately duplicates conventional surgical procedures (note that word). Haptics, which is an important aspect of Virtual Reality, even goes so far as to give these people a sense of touch while controlling devices that are clearly fake. While cadavers and plastic dummies have been used in the past for simulations, it is unclear how useful they have been.

6. Rehabilitation

Virtual reality-based therapy is intended to improve motor abilities while also promoting muscle repair in a safe and efficient manner. According to studies, stroke patients who received VR-based rehab training saw a significant improvement in arm and hand movement after just four weeks of treatment. Cerebral palsy patients showed a similar pattern of behaviour.

A stroke is believed to occur every two seconds, with the majority of victims requiring long-term recovery. Current rehabilitation treatments are either prohibitively expensive or do not allow for complete healing. The new wave of rehabilitation (VR Mode), on the other hand, has been found to have a significant influence on stroke victims since it allows them to practice key normal behaviours, develop new brain connections, and boost their confidence, according to specialists.

7.Human Touch

It is impossible to overestimate the significance of this in healthcare. No matter how far this era’s technologies advance, they cannot be used to the healthcare industry unless they include a human quotient. Fortunately for us, immersive technology is complemented by haptic technology, which uses forces and vibrations to create a tactile experience. This gives the impression of complete absorption in those settings.

8.Safe Trails

The concept of a 30% success probability, a 5% success rate, and other questionable probabilities are thrown out the window with VR. Virtual reality allows doctors to try out different operations for a single patient’s ailment. Complex surgeries are traditionally performed on cadavers or plastic manikins; however, this is impossible to replicate the precise OT (operating theatre) experience. As a result, by utilising VR, operation success rates can be improved, and new techniques can be developed.

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