The evolution of VR in the medical sector

You are here :

For a few years now, virtual reality has imposed itself in the health field with the objective of facilitating training for health professionals, but also to innovate in terms of rehabilitation techniques for patients. Originally, VR was not intended for the medical field. While virtual reality began to emerge in the 1960s with a first concept of headset, it is in the 1990s that we begin to think about its use in medicine.

But how did virtual reality come to be used in the medical sector? How can it be used? What is the medicine of the future? Let's discover together the evolution of virtual reality!

The development and appropriation of virtual reality in medicine

In the 90's, researchers began to exploit the possibilities of virtual reality to create a system that helps patients fight their anxieties, addictions and phobias, to overcome themselves and their fears. VR translates into immersion in a new world, which offers a sense of security to patients and a playful way to work on oneself. It comes closer to the medical sector by identifying itself as a therapeutic tool, and not as an entertaining tool especially dedicated to video games.

The development of VR was accentuated when researchers studied the case of burn victims, looking at how to reduce pain by creating a virtual environment of snowy landscapes, for example. To understand how virtual reality can influence pain reduction, we invite you to read our article on the subject.

Then, researchers thought about how to transform virtual reality into a new therapy in the health field, to fight against phantom limbs (sensation of an amputated limb's presence), by treating them with an artificial intelligence. Then, new techniques with VR were born in order to evolve the rehabilitation for patients.  

Virtual reality offers a new dimension to medicine: it allows the inaccessible, while helping doctors and patients on a daily basis.

The benefits of virtual reality for health professionals, patients and health institutions

For health professionals, virtual reality offers the possibility of training, by confronting difficult and stressful situations, through simulations. This technology helps doctors in their daily missions. The fact of immersing patients in fictitious universes is an interesting way of managing different disorders and helps to diagnose their needs. It is an opportunity for the doctor, especially in saving time and efficiency.

As far as patients are concerned, virtual reality helps them relieve pain and fight phobias, but not only: it influences the quality of patient care, making it more efficient and fun. It is also an opportunity for them to have an enriching care offer, to discover a new way of rehabilitation while being more autonomous during the rehabilitation sessions and making the most of the time of health professionals.

Finally, virtual reality is a way to make healthcare facilities more attractive. It allows for diversification, by offering better quality care. Offering gamified rehabilitation is an advantage for the patient and his family: it is also a way to stand out from other establishments, and to innovate in new technologies.

The revolution in therapy, treatment and care through virtual reality

Virtual reality continues to evolve in several sectors, particularly in the health sector. Its use allows to advance in research and development, it is a real complement.

Thanks to VR, it may be possible, in the near future, to improve the conditions of care, to identify more quickly serious diseases, to make a faster management, to avoid errors of diagnosis and thus facilitate the comfort of patients, etc.  

Finally, the benefits of virtual reality in the health sector have been much emphasized, which has allowed its development in recent years. The technology of VR has evolved a lot: it is now simple, easy to take in hand and to set up.

Want to read another article?