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03 June 2024 | Posted by angela.tuduri

Virtual Reality in medicine | News and applications

Virtual reality (VR) is moving from being a futuristic technology to become an increasingly present tool in the medical field. Its ability to create immersive environments and realistic simulations makes it an invaluable ally for professional training, patient treatment and medical research.  

In this post, we give you a preview of the latest industry news and applications, along with success stories surrounding virtual reality.   

Where do we stand?  

The global medical VR market was valued at USD 2.4 billion in 2022 and is forecast to reach USD 18.4 billion by 2028, growing at 42.5% annually. This growth is driven by increasing investment in VR technologies, increasing applications in various medical fields, and growing adoption of VR by healthcare professionals.  

Major applications of VR in medicine 

Medical training:  

  1. Surgical simulations: VR allows medical students and surgeons to practice complex procedures in virtual environments without risk to patients. This reduces the need to use cadavers or animal models and improves the accuracy and safety of real procedures.  

  1. Anatomy visualization: Students can explore the human body in 3D, which helps them better understand anatomy and physiology. 

Patient Treatment:  

  1. Enhanced Diagnosis: By using 3D imaging and immersion in virtual environments, professionals can gain a better understanding of health conditions, leading to more accurate and personalized diagnoses.  

  1. Pain therapy: VR is used to distract patients from chronic pain, allowing them to perform physical therapy or rehabilitation more comfortably.  

  1. Phobias and Anxiety Disorders: VR is used to gradually expose patients to their fears in a safe and controlled environment, which helps them overcome their phobias and anxiety.  

  1. Treatment and Rehabilitation: It is used for the physical rehabilitation of patients who have suffered brain injuries, strokes or motor disorders.  

Medical research:  

  1. Drug development: VR is used to study how different drugs react in the brain. 

  1. Surgical planning: Surgeons can use VR to create detailed 3D models of patients, allowing them to plan operations more accurately. 

Successful cases  

Vall d’Hebron Hospital 

At the Vall d'Hebron Virtual Hospital in Barcelona, VR is used to treat preoperative anxiety in children. A study conducted at the hospital found that VR significantly reduced children's anxiety before surgery.  

Embodied Therapeutics 

Embodied Therapeutics has developed a VR system for the treatment of chronic pain. A study conducted by the company found that the VR system significantly reduced pain and disability in patients with chronic low back pain.  

Related education 

Virtual reality is revolutionizing medicine, offering new possibilities for training professionals, performing medical procedures and treating patients. As technology advances, VR will have a major impact on the future of medicine.  

At La Salle URL we have programs that respond to the technological and healthcare needs of the moment. You will be trained in a real learning environment, collaborating with leading public and private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories and institutions related to eHealth.   




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