Virtual reality technology is making a lot of headway in the medical sector as we speak. University of Virginia Health System’s MD Ziv Haskal is taking things to a whole new level. More specifically, his new teaching tool will use the power of VR to put viewers inside the operating room with the doctor himself. An interesting approach which opens up a lot of exciting opportunities.
Inside the OR in VR
It has become quite apparent virtual reality technology allows for some rather intriguing experiences. As of right now, it is easy to transport one’s conscience to a virtual world in the blink of an eye. Ziv Haskal is taking this concept to a whole new level, as he puts viewers of his VR teaching tool inside the OR with him. More specifically, viewers can witness surgeries from a first-person perspective, although it is currently “limited” to creating a new blood vessel through a small nick in a patient’s neck.
While this sounds like a teaching tool for medical students, anyone in the world can witness this experience free of charge. It doesn’t even matter which VR headset is being used. This app works fine on a high-end VR system but provides a similar experience on a $15 headset. This procedure on display is known as an interventional radiology heptathlon. Educating the masses on such a procedure is a rather interesting concept, but one that holds a lot of merit as well.
With viewers able to look around in 360 degrees during the procedure, this solution is appealing in many different ways. Haskal guides viewers step-by-step through the entire procedure and even uses picture-in-picture solutions to provide an even better overview of how this procedure is unfolding. It is rather intriguing to see MDs develop their own VR teaching tools, which indicates there’s a lot of potential for this technology in the medical sector.
It is expected this VR training tool will be unveiled later this week. How the public will respond to this particular tool, remains to be determined. The tool will be made publicly available after the reveal, and will be hosted on the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology website for people to check out. This may very well be the beginning of an entire “wave’ of medical training tools designed for VR.
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