Author: Raj Pallapothu, Founder and COO, Silicon Gigs (US)
In today’s world, many forms of technology and cognitive interventions are thriving in the world of alternative education practices.
We won’t just be able to see these worlds—we’ll be able to touch them.
Recently some companies are making remarkable advances in hardware that are going to dramatically change our ability immersing ourselves in a virtual world capturing facial expressions and several types movements of our head, arms, legs, and hands. Some have amazing devices in the works that will follow the motion of the body as accurately and with as low latency while presenting images to the eyes.
We’ll also be able to communicate with others while we are inside these virtual worlds: the Internet is now fast enough to allow us to be in a virtual environment with other people who are accessing it from elsewhere, even halfway across the world.
Next generation Learning & Practicing
Repeated use of tools and training might change the handling of instruments, and therefore experience and decreased stress level during a procedure might also explain the differences between novice and expert.
Doctors can interact with virtual systems to practice procedures or to do tiny surgical procedures on a larger scale. Surgeons have also started using virtual model of their patients, to practice for surgery before doing the actual procedure.
Diagnostic Interactions and Communication skills
Virtual Reality solutions has also empowered Health Care professionals to interact more effectively with patients, enhancing both evaluation, diagnosis as well as treatment and rehabilitation.
Prominence of VR solutions is growing in super specialties like Neuropsychology, CardioHepatic transplantations, Otolaryngology, Spine Orthopedics, Pediatric Surgery etc.
Phobias and Maneuvering
Virtual environments can help extensively in overcoming subtle sensory and motor deficits, phobias especially while handling complex surgical procedures associated with Cardio vascular therapy, Brain surgeries, Ophthalmologic procedures, Orthopedic prosthetic implantations.
Some of the Mission Planning VR applications which can range from Pre-Surgery planning to the practice of a Rescue Maneuver, can be of great assistance for better end results.
Confidence and Self Esteem
Days are gone waiting for real time opportunities and hands on experience in building individual confidence to exercise the skills they got trained with.
Constant practice in VR environment can change the entire dynamics of any shortcomings, by increasing Self Esteem and Feel more Independence.
Underlying mechanism contributing to skills improvement:
There has been many studies that has confirmed that Adaptation in a virtual environment can transfer to a real world locomotion.
What users see are Projected Images but not real objects, but they still respond with physical actions that are appropriate to the images they perceive. The unique characteristic of the virtual environment that propels users to respond is the overwhelming influence of vision. The coupling of the visual and the motor system plays a critical role with above skill improvements.
Transforming Health Care Education and Practices
Virtual Reality is a viable, cost-effective tool for outreach with great potential for impacting real life behavior and decision making for health care.
Facilitating learning through Virtual Reality simulations can bring efficiency to education standards overall especially in settings where multi-specialty mode infrastructure is not accessible or limited.
VR Simulation parameters can easily be adjusted allowing integrity and allegiance of the simulation procedures and multi-faceted interactions with respect to learning.
Current challenges especially in Emerging countries:
Key challenge is ‘Adaptation’ to this new technologies by experienced Surgeons and Physicians along with other Health Care professionals and challenges involved with regulation of practice.
While designing and implementing Virtual Reality simulations for healthcare industry, it is helpful to follow a model that informs not only the design of the simulation, but also how one operationalizes the VR solutions.
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