Extended Reality (XR) is redefining what is possible in the healthcare industry. Today, Extended Reality is used in the healthcare industry for everything from surgical preparation to patient education, rehabilitation, and therapy. Patients are already benefiting from advanced and more precise surgeries, simulations for mental illness treatments, and many other improvements thanks to XR solutions. XR helps make healthcare professionals' work more effective and patients' lives easier.
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term for any technology that alters reality by adding digital elements to the physical or real-world environment to any extent and includes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Augmented Reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology. Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that allows users to experience virtual spaces. The main advantages are that the user is no longer confined to one location and can be in any environment, allowing for a more immersive experience. Recently, XR in healthcare has made significant strides. Although the technology is relatively new, there are several benefits to using it today. One significant advantage is that it reduces pain associated with physical therapy; another key advantage is its ability to allow a user to interact with an avatar while performing exercises in a virtual environment, which improves muscle control. Potential applications of AR and VR in healthcare include training clinicians; enhancing patient care; helping patients overcome the fear of undergoing physical therapy, and improving patient education through simulation exercises.
Today, the healthcare industry faces several significant challenges, including reducing healthcare costs and enhancing patient care, implementing strategies to improve overall patient experience and satisfaction levels, healthcare staffing shortages and lack of skills, increasing access to healthcare, and implementing new technology. Extended Reality (XR) redefines what is possible in the healthcare industry. Patients are already benefiting from advanced and more precise surgeries, simulations for mental illness treatments, and many other improvements thanks to XR solutions. Extended Reality solutions allow healthcare professionals and patients to interact with simulated environments tailored for medical education/training, pain management, rehabilitation, enhancing patient care; helping patients overcome fears and phobias; improving patient education, and more. COVID-19 highlighted the importance of making healthcare more accessible. XR technology has proven to be an effective tool for increasing healthcare accessibility. Accenture reports that 82% of healthcare professionals agree that Extended Reality technology, like Virtual Reality, creates a convenient way of accessing and learning information for medical students and practicing healthcare professionals. It also reports that 62% of patients would welcome Virtual Reality healthcare services as an alternative to traditional healthcare. Implementing XR can help healthcare organizations improve staff productivity and patient satisfaction. With the Extended Reality (XR) market forecasted to register a CAGR of 57.91% over the period of 2020-2027 and the healthcare market for XR estimated to reach $4.6 billion in the US alone by 2025, XR is a game-changer for healthcare systems.
There are a number of substantial advantages XR solutions can bring to the healthcare industry. Let's take a closer look at a few of them.
Extended Reality (XR) technology provides medical students with an immersive first-hand view of any medical procedure. With a VR headset and a controller, students can step into an immersive virtual representation of actual surgical procedures. Virtual Reality significantly improves the quality of medical training while serving as a cost-effective method of educating a new generation of surgeons. Medical students can gain more experience without putting patients at risk.
Extended Reality (XR) technology helps surgeons to work out the surgery beforehand while playing out various scenarios. They can optimize the sequence and prepare a course of action even for extreme circumstances. In this way, the operation will become more precise and controlled.
Physician consultation is not always available in remote locations. In such cases, adopting Extended Reality (XR) services allows doctors to provide consistent patient-physician communication. Additionally, it offers essential services like pulse examination and understanding emotional responses.
The Extended Reality (XR) healthcare market is booming. As a result, the applications of XR in healthcare are numerous. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality make it easier for medical professionals to conduct surgeries, educate patients, facilitate rehab and therapy, and more.
Extended Reality (XR) software that focuses on practical medical training helps medical school graduates and healthcare professionals acquire hands-on skills in low-risk conditions. This type of healthcare XR allows the simulation of complex, dangerous, or expensive scenarios to recreate in real life. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for medical training work by enabling users to enter a simulated environment in which they become part of a training scenario that expects them to complete predetermined steps, for instance, performing a medical procedure or handling medical equipment. A separate analytical module continuously records the actions taken and assesses a medical professional’s performance based on set criteria.
To effectively recover after a stroke, patients re-learn to perform their typical daily actions in the virtual environment. Patients can access a rich database of exercises that help them restore motor skills or improve spatial orientation abilities without posing any risks of damage to themselves, others, or the objects they manipulate. The rehabilitation can be remote, thus significantly minimizing treatment and transportation costs. Extended Reality technology, such as Virtual Reality for stroke rehabilitation, allows post-stroke patients to perform repetitive exercises in the VR world; the integrated machine-learning algorithms continuously monitor their performance and automatically adjust the difficulty to ensure progress.
By allowing surgeons to perform different types of mock surgeries in the virtual space, Extended Reality (XR) helps eliminate practical skill deficiency faster. Surgeons can become skilled professionals without using expensive onetime use mannequins for training. Virtual Reality (VR) for surgery allows a surgeon to perform virtual surgery in a virtual operating room. From start to finish, software guides the user through the necessary steps, letting them remember the correct sequence of actions. The VR app can also be used to explain the surgery process to patients.
Extended Reality (XR) pain management apps help lower pain or extreme discomfort by effectively diverting a patient’s attention. This type of XR helps minimize the use of potentially harmful painkillers and reduce healthcare costs. Virtual Reality (VR) for pain management works by immersing a patient in a VR simulation. After being immersed in the VR simulation, the patient can either become a part of an interactive gamified experience or be transferred to a highly realistic environment with a soothing atmosphere that, together with audio stimulation, helps put their mind at ease.
XR Guru helps healthcare organizations to reduce costs and improve staff productivity and patient satisfaction by providing pre-made or customized Extended Reality solutions/packages through the XR Guru app. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality packages offered on the XR Guru marketplace are designed to help healthcare organizations reduce costs, enhance patient care, and improve medical training, rehabilitation, surgery, pain management, patient education, and more.Explore XR Solutions for Healthcare
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