VR (Virtual Reality) has been increasing its hold on the entertainment world. Movies and games have been taking advantage of the feeling and experience lived through alternate realities. But is there more to it than just entertainment?
Health has brought about many different applications of VR. Some more predictable than others. Much less predictable uses are also becoming major breakthroughs in physical recovery.
From a gaming standing point, training or serious gaming with VR is a must. For instance, VR has been helping train new medical students, letting them step into the operating theatre to see all the tricks and methods employed during a surgery. The possibility of interacting with a lifesize heart, in full color and in 3D, to identify pathologies or simulate surgery is now a reality.
Neurological recovery in paraplegic patient
VR has been aiding paraplegics regain control of their muscles. Through a mix of VR simulation and a high-tech brain controlled robotic suit, patients with severely damaged spinal cords were able to regain partial neurological control over their lower bodies.
Anxiety and pain relief
Some uses focus on anxiety and pain relief, through a mix of VR and hypnosis, or even though the construction of dedicated scenarios to escape the patients’ hospital experience. Such is the case for the Eugene Marquis Centre that is building a VR framework to aid bed ridden patients escape the harsh reality of cancer (link to crowdfunding platform gogetfunding).
Research has shown that the earliest possible integration of supportive care (physiotherapy, adapted physical activity, palliative care, nutrition, medical hypnosis, etc.) to the treatment of cancer patients has a very positive impact on the quality of life. Furthermore, it greatly benefits the survival rate.
The uses and the technology applications are endless. What will be done in the near future? Only tech and innovation will tell!
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