Virtual reality can make a major impact in the medical sector for many different reasons. One option worth exploring is allowing patients to review their own surgery. Whether or not most patients are keen to watch such footage, is something else entirely, though. However, depending on how severe the medical condition is, every patient deserves to be well-informed before going under.
VR for Surgery Previews
It makes a lot of sense to use virtual reality as a tool in the medical sector. The way to do so, however, is something well worth debating over. Various hospitals across the US are experimenting with this technology as we speak. Especially when it comes to rather invasive surgeries – such as those involving the brain – it is always good to see patients have all of the information at their disposal. A lot of complicated surgeries remain concepts the average person cannot grasp when hearing about it. Some visual aids will certainly help in this regard.
Stanford is one of the institutions experimenting with such VR-based surgery reconstructions. They do so in accordance with Dr. Gary Steinberg, the head of neurosurgery at the Medical Center. Although it was initially considered to be a one-off project involving VR, it goes to show there may be a lot of merit in pursuing this option further in the future. This idea came to fruition after one of the staffers worked with a startup designing software to transform scans to be viewed in virtual reality.
In the case of most brain-related surgeries, patients can “fly through the brain” by using an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. This is made possible thanks to the Neurological Simulation and Virtual Reality center. It is a VR clinic for spine and neurosurgery throughout the United States. Rest assured we will see more VR-based initiatives in this regard, as they provide a lot of valuable information. When patients fully understand what is going to happen and how that will be achieved, there are generally fewer worries over this surgery.
These VR-based initiatives serve a secondary purpose as well. Not only do they provide information for patients, but they are also “rehearsal” tools for the surgical staff involved in the procedure. It is always good to see a positive focus on hands-on experience with such delicate surgeries. Planning ahead for a surgery and being able to rehearse it can be invaluable for even the best of professionals.
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