By JC Mendoza
Health and Technology
The healthcare industry is well placed as a billion-dollar institution, giving it the power to invest in the innovation of professional technology used in its various processes and to greatly impact patients within its sector. Ranging from robotic pill dispensers to AI systems that organize medical data. Automated records, IoT, 3D printing and medicalized smartphones have all been explored as new technological avenues for use in the industry, streamlining administrative processes, finding ways to overcome traditional problems, and giving patients more power over their own medical information.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
The healthcare industry has been keenly watching the development of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) since the days when the sister technologies were still being exclusively marketed towards the gaming industry.
VR and AR are far-reaching technologies that are already disrupting the global business landscape. Companies like NASA and Realities.io are now utilizing VR and AR to further develop their product portfolio and processes. NASA for example utilizes AR with HoloLens – to fuel innovation in their processes, boosting efficiency and raising the bar in equipment development. Realities.io on the other hand is swiftly changing the tourism industry by utilizing VR technology. Now that both technologies can now be applied to various industries and even more so for the healthcare industry, various companies are now investing big in VR and AR.
Healthcare Education 2.0
When dealing with human lives, VR becomes an invaluable tool. VR has obvious benefits for medicine, such as highly realistic training. Through VR, the trainees can get as close to performing real operations as possible, learning how to successfully carry out complex and life threatening procedures. In a virtual environment, the trainee can afford to make mistakes, mistakes that might cause death in part of the patients involved. The immersive quality of VR, brings forth a safer and more efficient way in how the healthcare industry trains and develops its future professionals, given that VR delivers a very convincing simulation to how operations could be conducted.
The exchange of information in medicine relies on actual experience which makes VR and AR especially useful for trainees who don’t have the same level of expertise as established doctors and nurses. Various Apps are now being offered to further innovate healthcare education. Apps like Viipar have disrupted the way the industry approaches training, integrating digital solutions to the traditional learning structure.
Being placed in a more knowledgeable position, VR and AR enables trainees the avenue to become experienced in operational processes without even conducting a real operation, human guidance would still be needed though, but because of the virtual guidance, trainees are placed in a much better position to conduct real surgeries. This, along with Apps like AccuVein are revolutionizing how medicinal information is being shared, giving doctors, trainees and patients alike an avenue to be better educated about the current status of an operation or procedure.
The future looks bright for VR and AR and it can be said that there will be an immense increase in investment in these technologies. Time will tell what further advancements will be developed in medicine by the use of VR and AR but it can be expected that they will forever change how doctors conduct operations, how patients are treated and how the industry will function.
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