Medical Virtual Reality offers excellent opportunities for healthcare providers, practitioners, researchers, residents, patients, and chemists. Here’s a brief overview.
Virtual Reality: Increasing success rate and establishing trust in medical education
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a shortage of approximately 7.2 million health care professionals worldwide. The report also stated that this shortage is expected to reach 12.9 million by 2035. Besides the deficiency and disproportionate distribution of healthcare workers, the inadequacy of training programs also affects the delivery of uniform healthcare services worldwide. Leading healthcare organizations have been focusing on developing strategies that can increase the number of healthcare workers and enhance the quality and relevance of medical training.
In recent years, several modes of eLearning have been used to disseminate information and impart training to medical students, out of which Virtual Reality Applications deserve a special mention. Virtual Reality Environments (VREs) allow users to experience real-life scenarios via simulated counterparts and gain practical knowledge that would otherwise be difficult to comprehend in a real environment.
Here are a few examples of how VR improves medical education standards and how it enables novice medical personnel to learn concepts in environments that replicate real-life scenarios.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety among medical students
Medical and traumatic emergencies can be daunting and stressful, especially for the early-career medical personnel. Preparing novice doctors to respond effectively to medical emergencies before being confronted with a real scenario is challenging. Unnatural or high-cost training modalities fail to replicate the stress and gravity of real-world trauma management realistically. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) may provide a unique training solution.
VR-based medical training recipients report better learning of anatomical positions, reduction in surgery time in the real environment, increase in the safety of both physician and patient, positive psychological effects on learners, reduction in training costs and efforts, and overall improvement. 68% of nursing and 58% of medical interns reported that VR-based training has significantly reduced their anxiety about occupational needlestick or sharp injuries (NSI) prevention.
2. Ensure uninterrupted in-hospital training
During April-July 2020, when most countries went to stringent lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, several medical colleges and universities adopted virtual reality to supplement the traditional in-hospital medical training. Due to in-hospital access bans, the training providers offered students virtual patient-based training, debriefing, and simulated clinical scenarios on a case-by-case basis, all via virtual reality environments.
A recent report on students’ perception of VR-based medical training found that:
- 77% of medical students considered VR training to be a trustworthy platform for initial clinical assessments
- 94% remarked that VR is ideal for diagnostic activity, and 81% appreciated its usefulness in treatment options
- Furthermore, 84% of students felt that the scope of VR training would move beyond apprenticeship at a patient’s bedside
3. Immersive VR environments help develop empathy
The most significant advantage of virtual reality is that it allows users to experience any situation from any perspective. In that way, it can be called the “ultimate empathy machine.” Patients suffering from traumas such as memory loss, physical or mental abuse, age-related health issues, Alzheimer’s disease, drug addiction, and other ordeals need a soothing atmosphere and reassuring words to recover quickly. Immersive VR training is an effective teaching method to help medical students develop empathy towards such patients.
An educational project conducted by the University of New England (UNE) successfully used VR to teach empathy to medical and health profession students. The project used a VR tool called “Alfred Lab app” – to teach students about macular degeneration and hearing loss from a 74-year-old African American man’s perspective. Realizing an aged and ailing patient’s thoughts and concerns enables the residents to develop empathy towards such patients.
4. Improve practitioners’ skills, speed, and mobility in operating rooms
From rote memorization of theories, the modern medical training practice has evolved to imparting skills in life-like environments using virtual reality simulations. Even in the absence of faculty, VR systems enable students to learn practical surgical concepts when faced with a given patient. VR systems make medical training access more broad-based and flexible. Medical professionals can use VR to visualize the human body’s interior and learn better about human anatomy.
According to a study published by the Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has proclaimed that residents need to be trained by simulation tools before attempting any patient interventions in real life. The board also finds immersive VR training to be effective in mechanical ventilation and invasive hemodynamic monitoring.
Dr. Dimitris Stefanidis, professor and research scholar at Indiana University School of Medicine, concluded in a study that surgical residents who underwent training in laparoscopic suture using video simulators had reported improved operative performance, speed, and mobility at the end of the practice. Performing surgeries that require vast experience and sensitivity, such as an osteotomy (bone-cut surgery), can be simplified for surgeons through virtual simulations. Immersive simulations along with tactical feedback are safer and cost-effective than traditional teaching methods.
5. Impart health education and awareness among patients
In addition to practitioners, patients also can gain awareness of their medical conditions and treatment principles using VR. Clinical professionals can use simulated environments to communicate the impact of unpleasant lifestyle practices such as noxious drug usage, metabolic dysfunctions, obesity, growth of certain tumors, the effect of smoking and drinking on lung and liver functions, etc.
Chronically ailing and hospitalized patients can use VR goggles or headsets to experience their home in an immersive environment and chat with their family members. By installing a 360-degree camera in their home, the patient’s family can make sure that the patient experiences the interaction just like how he/she used to feel it while at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, VR was highly applied in remote sites to facilitate telemedicine, control the spread of infection, plan, treat, and provide proper awareness to people regarding this disease.
Getting started with VR
Medical VR is no more a sci-fiction. VR-trained surgeons report a 230% boost in their overall performance compared to their traditionally-trained counterparts.
VR can help you conduct engaging medical conferences, help women get through labor pain, train surgeons and medical residents, reduce pain and anxiety among patients, and expedite recovery in physical therapy by tailoring exercises to patients’ therapeutic needs.
If your next question is how to start with VR, Fingent helps you develop these virtual simulators:
- ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support System)
- Accident Trauma Care Standard Operating Procedures
- Orthopedic or Cardiac surgical procedure that involves using complex tools
- Neo-Natal Resuscitation Simulator (GOLDEN MINUTE PROTOCOL)
Would you like to discuss that with our expert? Drop us a line, and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.
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Why Implement Virtual Reality in your Real Estate Business
Virtual Reality is rapidly becoming a part of every modern business, and the real estate industry is not excluded from the list. In fact, VR technology opens up many innovative opportunities for real estate businesses to market their listings in a better way.
Generally, a real estate deal involves checking the listings, price negotiations, and an in-person visit to the property. This workflow is very robust and has always brought forth good results. However, it is very time-consuming for both the client and the realtor. Sometimes, visiting the property can be inconvenient for the homebuyers as well. This is where Virtual Reality tools can be a game-changer.
VR technology allows realtors to showcase the property to their clients as if they were there in the flesh. The client just has to put on a VR headset and experience an immersive three-dimensional tour of the property. Potential homebuyers can virtually visit multiple properties this way, even without having to leave their home once. This allows them to make an informed decision when buying or renting the property.
As for the real estate companies, employing VR tools allows them to expand their reach to more clients. As the internet is not confined to any physical boundaries or borders, realtors can offer their listings to global clients as well. This can be of great help to long-distance buyers as well as to those who are looking to migrate to a different country.
Realtors can also offer a 360-degree virtual tour of the property for clients who do not have access to a VR headset. Alternatively, they can create an interactive virtual tour, wherein the user can move from one place to another within the property by clicking on various hotspots. Both of the guided and interactive virtual tours can be easily included along with the property listing on the website.
Virtual Reality also allows realtors to add furniture and other essential items in the property so that it looks more appealing and cozy to the clients. Staging has been an integral part of the real estate business for years and is widely used when uploading photos of the property on the website. VR technology can make this more realistic.
Virtual staging is one of the best ways to market a newly built home or apartment. This can be done by creating 3D tours of the property with furniture and fixtures. That makes it very simple for the client to visualize how their future personal space will be. As this connects potential buyers to the property emotionally, it motivates them to make a quick decision.
Real estate businesses can also employ VR technology to boost the sales of under-construction properties using virtual staging. Realtors find it very difficult to market such properties because empty buildings and unfinished structures do not attract buyers at all. This gap can be efficiently filled using architectural 3D visualization and virtual staging tools.
Virtual staging of the property has another benefit too. Apart from creating a premium and lasting impression on the potential buyers, it can also promote virtual commerce. Realtors can easily add a purchase option with any element when staging the property and creating the 3D tour. This allows the clients to customize the space as per their personal preferences.
For instance, real estate businesses can integrate an online store with the staged elements. This will give the clients the options to, say, change the style of the furniture or choose a different light fixture. This not only makes the virtual tour of the property more interactive but also allows customers to imagine how it will be when they move in.
Even if a client does not make any changes to the interior staging during the virtual tour of the property, there are still chances that they may find the items included in the 3D tour interesting and may buy them eventually when they buy or rent the property. This is always an added advantage for the realtor.
Related Reading: Tech Disruptors in the Real Estate Space
The Key Benefits of Employing VR Tools in Real Estate Business
The most striking advantage of incorporating Virtual Reality in real estate business is that it saves time for both the realtor and the client. It is much cost-effective than taking the client to check out multiple properties.
Besides, an immersive 3D virtual tour of all the properties listed on the website will be available round-the-clock to the clients, which means that they can virtually visit any property at any time. This allows realtors to work with more clients, which means more opportunities to sell a property.
Another great thing about VR technology is that it gives clients an instant sense of ownership. As they get the options to customize the space as per their liking during the virtual tour, checking out the different areas of the property quickly establishes a personal connection with the clients.
This can be very helpful in inspiring them to make a purchase or sign a rental agreement. It is also possible to add to the customer experience by including interactive tools in the virtual tour, such as mortgage calculators and neighborhood descriptions.
There is no arguing that Virtual Reality has already made an impact in the real estate industry. Most of the big names have adopted the technology for improving their reach, and soon, every real estate business will incorporate VR technology for better productivity.
If you would like to work with an expert to build your VR strategy, we can help. Contact us.