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3 ways virtual reality is disrupting healthcare

January 25, 2017

Simulation-based healthcare training

A common complaint about healthcare training is that it relies too heavily on theory and not enough on hands-on practice, especially in areas like radiography. The cost of the tools necessary for radiographic training is very high—live radiation machines are expensive, quickly become obsolete and need to be housed in special, protective rooms. Human models also must be paid and may not always be readily available.

Virtual reality helps to alleviate these challenges. By strapping on the VR goggles, a student is transported to a full hospital radiology suite where he can walk from the consul to the exam room. In the exam room, he can move the patient, position the x-ray tube, raise and lower the table or anything else that he could do in the real world. The student can then walk back to the exam room and take the radiograph.

This type of training provides a safe space for students to actively think about the information presented and execute educated decisions. They can practice on any brand or machine and can even see what happens when they make a mistake, like overexposing an x-ray or tilting a body part to the wrong angle, without fear of harming the patient.

Surgical planning

With VR, patients gain new perspectives on their diagnoses and confidence in the physicians who have another tool to help them in their procedures.

With virtual reality, surgeons can plan and execute their surgeries on a virtual platform before attempting their procedures on the actual patient. Neurosurgeons are already using virtual reality to gain a 360-degree view of a patient’s brain. They can show the patient and his family a brain tumor or aneurysm exactly as the neurosurgeon sees it. This information is invaluable in helping patients to make difficult decisions and better understand their treatment options.

Far beyond a 2D MRI, the 3D model of the patient’s brain gives an immersive, full-color experience that helps the surgeons to better visualize a path to the anomaly and prepare for any abnormalities that may arise.

Physician support

Virtual reality is not just for the radiology department or OR. It also will help with the administrative side of healthcare. Virtual assistants will be able to support and engage with patients in the care process. These assistants will alert doctors to missing information in patient records and authenticate a patient’s identity via the patient’s voice. These will dramatically change the way that doctors interact with patients and their health records.

Is your business ready to be a part of this new wave of healthcare? Ingram Micro System ArchiTECHS can help. Visit ingrammicrosystemarchitechs.com or call our dedicated sales team at (800) 456-8000 today to find out more.