How Virtual Reality is Affecting the Healthcare Industry

During a period of uncertainty as great as the current coronavirus rapidly spreading throughout the world, it’s important to look into new, nontraditional opportunities within the healthcare industry to prevent something like this from ever happening again. That’s where the potential for virtual reality comes into play.

Take, for example, a recent Nasdaq article that examines just that: How artificial intelligence can create vast opportunity in the way in which we treat patients. “While Virtual Reality (VR) is most commonly associated with gaming, video entertainment and retail, there is a much more significant and deeper impact that this advanced technology is making, and that is in the healthcare industry,” according to the article. “In recent years, there are positive outcomes that are being reported by the use of VR on the lives of patients, surgeons and medical professionals.”

One way in which artificial intelligence can greatly help people is through pain management, according to Nasdaq, especially when undergoing surgeries that may cause anxiety. “The virtual reality technology is being used to calm patients before and during painful medical procedures, some of which result in acute pain,” according to the article.

“In December 2019, use of VR headsets at the St George Hospital in the UK showed that patients using them changed the way they experience anxiety during wide-awake surgery; 100% patients reported that wearing the VR headset improved their overall hospital experience and 94% said they felt more relaxed,” as noted by Nasdaq.

Beyond that, about 80% of the patients examined said they “felt less pain after wearing the headset and 73% reported feeling reduced anxiety.”

Along with helping those with severe pain and undergoing anxiety-producing surgery, artificial intelligence within the industry can also aid those with autism, according to Nasdaq. “In an initiative, the Center for BrainHealth and Yale School of Medicine are collaborating to help young adults with ASD enhance their capacity for learning and developing the skills needed to achieve economic and social independence in life using VR,” according to the publication.

And beyond that, it’s obvious that virtual reality is expected to boom within the industry in the coming years, according to Nasdaq’s research. “The global VR in the healthcare market is projected to reach $30.40 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 42.4% during 2019-2026.”

Virtual reality has the ability to help in numerous ways. With endless possibilities, the new technology could help people heal and feel better in many surprising ways, ultimately leading to a happier and healthier society.