From pacemakers to Fitbits, digital technology plays a vital role in keeping people healthy. Innovative companies are going beyond devices and gadgets by applying VR to expand the capabilities of the medical field.
The same technology used by game developers is being deployed to improve surgical training, more accurately diagnose disease and offer patients new avenues to pain relief…
Training in safer environment
With new VR simulations surgeons now have a safe environment in which to gain familiarity with tools, learn new skills and experience surgical procedures — without putting patients at risk.
Improving images and diagnoses
Digital data from MRI and CT scans can now be uploaded into a 3D virtual environment. Doctors can use this new tool in medical imaging to eliminate the need for invasive procedures, reduce surgical planning time and increase diagnostic accuracy to provide better patient care.
Alternative treatment for seniors
Many seniors who live alone struggle with anxiety, loneliness or depression. Seniors can work with doctors to reduce to symptoms, and medication can help. But for patients who struggle to communicate, that interaction is decreased or non-existent. VR can enrich seniors’ lives by surrounding them in an immersive, relaxing environment. The more patients engage in their virtual world, the less time they spend experiencing and worrying about pain.
What does this mean for Wavelength VR:
VR has already proven to be an efficient distraction tool in a number of studies on pain management. However, no systematic approaches have explored the psychological factors that influence the effectiveness of the analgesic distraction.
Anxiety as well as positive emotions directly affect the experience of pain. We believe colour could also have a significant effect. Future challenges for Wavelength VR include adopting properly validated measures to assess psychological factors and using different experimental conditions to better understand their complex effects.