VR in Health: "Gaming Healthcare"
Technological innovation in healthcare is on a rapid upwards trend in development. Most recently, the implementation of VR (virtual reality) technology in training and assisting surgeons is a topic of fascination for many keen gamers.
How VR is Used in Healthcare
Stanford Medicine is using a training system similar to a virtual reality game: residents and surgeons are able to manipulate a 3D model, a replica of any part of the human body. For example, to produce a 3D image of the brain, the system utilises and combines MRI scans, CT scans and angiograms, which can then be manipulated and interacted with. The game mirrors the reality of the operating room.
TechRepublic’s interview with Justin Barad provides insight on using such technology in learning. Equipped with a VR headset, students are enabled to assess themselves on operation procedures in a “low-frequency, high-urgency situation”. Thus, the use of VR has enriched the learning of daunting practices.
Aside from training medical students, VR technology has also been used by professional surgeons. In the Neurosurgical Simulation Lab, surgeons can practice on models of their respective patients’ brains. Accuracy is improved, because surgeons are able to plan out the operation process beforehand.
However, there have been some concerns amongst surgeons and the general public. For instance, people have questioned using “video game technology” to simulate a serious medical procedure.
It's an unlikely combination but, we should remain open-minded. In fact, we are already seeing the positive impacts of this type of technology in medicine and the healthcare field.
Written by Nichapatr (Petch) Lomtakul