3 Ways VR is Improving Health

virtual reality in healthcare
Virtual reality (VR) is most commonly associated with the gaming industry. However, VR is also growing in popularity within the healthcare sector - enabling immersive experiences designed to improve lives in the real world. From rehabilitation to medical procedures, VR is enabling its operators to perform tasks in a fake environment in order to make real-life improvements. Here are 3 unique and innovative ways that VR is allowing people to ‘fake it until they make it’.

1. By changing mindsets

VR is a deeply immersive technology, so it comes as no surprise that it has been adopted to treat mental health conditions. C2Care offers software designed to support a patient’s therapeutic treatment to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and act as a calming distraction for patients who are receiving distressing medical procedures. Multi-sensory environments can be used to help users regulate their emotions and promote relaxation, a VR Hypnosis.

What’s more, studies have been carried out in the UK that has even shown positive results in the use of virtual reality technology for the early diagnoses of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia; cognitive deterioration that impacts memory, logical thinking, recognition, and communication. The study required patients, half of which were suffering from early signs of dementia, to attempt to navigate through a VR environment. Chan, who led the study noted that the “results suggest a VR test… maybe better at identifying early Alzheimer's disease than tests we use at present"!

2. By improving treatments

Not only can virtual reality technology be used to help treat various health conditions directly, but it is also being used to help train medical practitioners to better carry out procedures. Surgical Theatre, for example, uses VR technology to allow medical students to leave their desks behind and enter a virtual surgery where they can gain a greater understanding of anatomy, witness procedures, assess scans and practicing reporting techniques.

3. By getting people moving

There is significant evidence supporting the use of VR for rehabilitation treatment and physiotherapy. VR systems may be used alongside therapist-led treatment to recreate a familiar environment for patients while they carry out exercises; such as walking on a virtual beach. It can also be used in a gaming capacity, creating fun and engaging virtual activities tailored to support physical therapy needs, encourage continual practice and boost motivation.

Not only can VR assist in improving mobility through activity, but it can also be used to bring activity to the immobile. It is now possible to travel the world without leaving your seat and VR technology can place users right in the thick of it. From music festivals and amusement rides to museum tours and a whole array of global hotspots VR allows those who are unable to access these experiences due to health complications to immerse themselves in unique experiences.

You made it!

There are so many uses for VR that extend beyond gaming and many of the latest developments are centered around training, education, health, and wellbeing. The strides that have been made in VR for health improvement is huge and is continuing to grow. So, until you can make it, you can fake it with VR.

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