In recent years, virtual reality has extended to more and more areas, including health. But what can it bring to health? From training to the resolution of phobias through rehabilitation, we explain it all!!
Virtual reality for the patient
Virtual reality to reassure patients
Hospital stays tend to increase patient anxiety: loneliness, inactivity, pain, not knowing what to expect, all the factors are combined to scare patients.
But virtual reality can now be used to reassure them by explaining from A to Z the procedure that will be administered to them thanks to the modeling of the human body. This same visualization also allows them to experience their surgery live as if they were doctors.
In a less “realistic” option, a recent study at St.Georges hospital in London showed that 100% of patients who used VR to visualize calm and soothing landscapes before and during an operation had an improved hospital stay.
Improving patient rehabilitation
VR also improves the rehabilitation method for patients, especially those who have suffered a stroke. A Swiss start-up called MindMaze has created rehabilitation programs for these patients. The latter allows patients to virtually simulate their movements, a way for them to stimulate their body and mind.
Virtual reality and pain
Virtual reality can be used in two aspects in the treatment of pain. First of all, by bringing the patient to a new environment, he focuses on the beauty of what he sees, which allows him to bear his pain more easily. The second aspect, which complements the first, is that the use of VR makes it possible to reduce the use of painkillers, knowing that some of them can cause addiction in the patient.
VR to solve phobias and traumas
Thanks to the immersion therapy that virtual reality allows, it is possible to resolve phobias as well as traumas. All this by immersing claustrophobic, arachnophobic, dizzy people and many more in therapeutic virtual environments. This reduces their anxiety.
Virtual reality for the doctor
Helping doctors being more empathetic
Having empathy when dealing with illness and injury on a daily basis is sometimes difficult for doctors. How do we know what someone with a limb amputation or cancer is feeling when we haven't experienced it ourselves? Here is the doctors’ difficulty! So VR tries to remedy this situation by offering doctors, during training, to immerse themselves in the situation of their patients through different simulations. A way for them to understand what it is to be a patient.
Improving doctors’ training
There are different solutions to improve doctors’ training through VR. The first is that it allows students to not only practice on corpses. Indeed, training for surgery on a corpse is a good thing, but this method does not make it possible to know how a living human would react, something that virtual reality allows! VR of the human body in great detail allows students to simulate the different reactions that patients may have during an operation depending on their own actions.
As we have understood, practice is extremely important when training doctors and observing over the shoulder of doctors in the middle of an operation is very important but possible for only a handful of students. The Osso VR company offers students the opportunity to experience the operation as if they had the scalpel in their hands! It is no longer necessary to be in the operating room to learn from its trainers.
Virtual reality, therefore, offers many solutions to improve current medicine, but we promise, it is only in its infancy and still has a lot to offer us.
On our side, at Nootty, we work in collaboration with the association Les P’tits Doudous whose objective is to improve the stay of children in hospital. Want to know more about this topic? You can read our blog post!