Even though it is obvious virtual reality will shake up a lot of industries moving forward, it remains to be seen what the future holds. The healthcare industry is prone to a major VR disruption right now. It is unclear what the future may hold for this sector, yet there are a few emerging trends already. Below are some examples of how VR will change the healthcare industry as we know it today.
3. Conquering Phobias
One obvious example of using VR in healthcare is by addressing psychological issues. A lot of people around the world suffer from a wide range of phobias. Conquering those fears is quite difficult since they often require a controlled environment. Virtual reality can make a big impact in this regard. Patients will be supervised by psychologists as they enter the VR environment. The immersive aspect will allow them to face their fears head-on in a controlled environment. People suffering from spider phobia, for example, could certainly benefit from such a treatment.
2. Exposure Therapy
Although exposure therapy can also be used to conquer phobias, its potential applications are far more widespread. Some institutions and researchers are already experimenting with exposure therapy in a virtual reality environment. More specifically, they use exposure therapy as a way to help soldiers overcome PTSD. Patients are immersed in a virtual simulation where they can slowly come to terms with their previous experiences and move on with their lives. A lot of research and development has to be done in this area, though.
1. Pain Sensation Relief
It may sound strange at first, but relieving one’s sensation of pain is more difficult than anticipated. Some patients feel a burning sensation throughout their body without apparent reason. Immersing these patients in a virtual environment where their mind – and body – can relax will help alleviate the pain somewhat. It is still an experimental area of research. Right now, dedicated healthcare apps are developed to experiment with VR technology for this particular purpose.
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