Extended Reality in Healthcare

Roshni Khatri

30th Apr'22

Extended reality is a revolution in the medical and health care field. Innovation and technology have increased the scope of several medical centers and hospitals. The prime ways that reflect the extended reality are augmented, virtual, and mixed reality and these are helpful in the betterment of healthcare centers. 

This reality enables surgeons to look beyond the human body and check the organs thoroughly. The technology allows them to reach even the smallest part of the body and study that via X-rays and 3D structures. It is also helpful in teaching other students and increasing their retention power. Many AI startups help in visualizing and diagnosing the human organs. Thus the extended reality has been an immense support in the medical field and also empower the young generation to provide the betterment in everyone’s life. 

Let’s discuss it more briefly!

 

Extended Reality

 

What is Extended Reality?

Extended reality is a technical term that defines the virtual and real environment generated by computer technology. It is a mechanism to revamp the way businesses interact with digital media and has the potential to promote the interaction between the real and virtual world. This provides an immersive experience to the users. So it is a combination of human-machine interactions through computer technology.

Science fiction writer “Stanley G. Weinbaum” is the first who implied this technique in 1935. He wrote “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” a story where a professor invented a pair of goggles, to allow moviegoers to taste, smell and even touch the imaginary things, communicate with the fictional characters, and imagine themselves in the story, instead of on-screen. 

Later in 1962, a cinematographer, “Morton Heilig” patented Sensorama, where a person sat in a semi-enclosed cabinet and experienced a 3D display, augmented by a fan that spread aromas and a vibrating chair to stimulate movement. In 1970, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a VR mapping simulation that allows the user to move through the streets of Colo and Aspen. And since then the XR devices and technology have grown worldwide.

The extended reality enables the users to view the digital image. In this technology, computers use the two-dimensional screen to present images and information.  

Thus the extended reality (XR) technologies, improve the patterns of learning in healthcare education and the learning outcomes also. These technologies have different attributes than traditional ones. 

 

Extended Reality

 

How Extended Reality Can be Applied in Healthcare?

Well, extended reality XR has tremendous potential in the healthcare industry. To better understand the extended reality, of XR you would have to understand its three major aspects, and these are:

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is the concept that took place in 1990 and entailed the people entering the virtual world. It has many applications in healthcare such as training residents to complete surgeries. With this, it is helpful to endure the pain of the patients and deal with fear before surgery.

Augmented Reality

It is a computer device to provides virtual information to the real world. Google Glass is a prime example of it. With this, the game Pokémon, is also a great example of augmented reality, AR. It is used in healthcare, like helping the surgeons in getting the additional information at the time of operating table, and keeping the hands free of the nurses while caring for another patient. 

Mixed Reality

It is like augmented reality, some people argue that these are the same but the prime difference is that MR, inserts the digital objects into the real world as these are real. It is used for rehabilitation after a serious injury or illness of patients.

Extended Reality (XR)

Now by understanding VR, AR and MR you would have got an idea of what the XR is, as it is a combo of all of these technologies and has significant use in healthcare. 

You can also read: Visualizing AI startups in drug discovery

How Extended Reality is Revolutionizing Healthcare?

As we all know that XR technologies have several applications in healthcare services. It provides the people with a full-size 3D VR model of people and also has helped in joining the hearts of conjoined twins in 2017. Another major use of this technology is the Holographic Navigation Platform which allows the surgeons to track the surgical marking and screws in the patients. Some other prime benefits of the XR technology are as under:

  • It enables the surgeons to visualize the complexities and issues of the human body and allows them to detect every part of the human body.

  • It is also used in providing training to other medical students and memorizing things properly.

  • The extended reality has provided a helping hand in studying the brain via 3D modes. We can see the front and back of both parts of the brain by using this technology. 

Thus the extended reality XR has supported immensely in the medical and health care sector.  Besides this, there are some other uses of the extended reality in healthcare, and these are:

Prepare the Surgeons Before doing the Actual Surgery

The 3D tools of this technology enable the surgeons to study and collaborate with the team on surgery issues. It helps showcase the cut, draw and measure the tools to build the real procedure of operation. With this the technology helps the multiple surgeons with training lessons and discussions, by this they can sharpen their skills.

 

Extended Reality

 

Diagnose the Severe Health Conditions

By using the XR technology the body of the patient can be scanned easily. Some serious health issues like tumors, broken bones and other internal organs can be detected by this. 

Helps in Identifying the Condition of Patient

The extended reality helps the doctors to understand the condition of patients, by diagnosing and putting them in their shoes. This assists them in experiencing the actual pain of the patients.

Recommended:  Is Telepsychiatry a boon for us

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the extended reality is creating numerous opportunities in the healthcare industry. Many health care sectors are shaping the future of this industry. The technological solutions are a boon for the health sector and can provide numerous benefits to many people. It enhances both productivity and experience. 

 

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A keen observer, who loves to spend time with nature. A fun loving person, enjoys to explore the new aspects of life. Passionate about reading and learning new things. Roshni is dedicated towards her work and has worked in different professions.

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