August 13, 2018

Virtual Reality - More Than Entertainment

Commentary
Julie Carty

Virtual Reality has been a keen interest of ours in HealthXL. It's a technology that has already made incredible strides within media and entertainment with Sony, HTC and Oculus all leading the charge. Although the developments in entertainment are now coming thick and fast, we asked ourselves, what about Healthcare? How is VR technology being used, and who is using it? At our HealthXL Melbourne event last week, 11 projects were presented that each explored new models of care. Turns out, it was a VR company called Phoria that took home the prize as the most innovative solution for their work in using virtual reality (VR) in healthcare.  Congratulations to Phoria who will now get to present their technology at the HealthXl Global Gathering in Basel, Switzerland in February!

Phoria

Phoria is an immersive media start up that have made their mark in the property market - their technology enables you to virtually experience any interior space as if you were physically there. Now through their project, Dream3d, they are leveraging VR to reduce anxiety for children in hospital environments.

Virtual Reality in Healthcare

No longer reserved for gaming and entertainment, what are VRs applications its healthcare? We took a closer look at what VR is doing and found 5 key areas that we decided to focus on. They are; Pain ManagementMental Illness TreatmentPhysical TherapyMedical Education and Medical Imaging. Lets take a look!

Pain Management

We discovered that VR can be used as a cognitive distraction method to decrease pain and reduce patient’s anxiety. Here a few companies leading the way in Pain Management.

DeepStream

DeepStream VR is the industry leader in Virtual Reality for healthcare. DeepStream VR have been in healthcare for over 20 years, using VR’s high bandwidth channel to the brain and senses to boost your physical and mental health.

SnowWorld 

SnowWorld is a therapeutic VR experience that was developed by Hoffman & Patterson at the University of Washington Seattle and Harborview Burn Center to help distract patients receiving painful burn treatments.

Mental Illnesses Treatment

VR can be used for a range of Mental Illness Treatments with a focus on exposure therapy to treat particular mental illnesses such a PTSD and phobias. Take a look at a few companies in the space.

BraveMind

Bravemind is a clinical, interactive, virtual reality (VR) based exposure therapy tool being used to assess and treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a game that allows veterans to relive the trauma inducing event so they can begin to deal with the emotions associated with it.

Deep

Is a meditative VR game developed by Owen Harris that aims to teach you breathing techniques that can alleviate stress, anxiety, and mild depression. Players use a Virtual Reality headset and a custom DEEP controller to explore a beautiful and mysterious underwater world.

 

Physical Therapy

Virtual Reality assisted physical therapy can improve the quality of physical therapy and patients and is being used across a variety of areas of physical rehabilitation. Check out a few companies and projects using the technology.

SharkPunch 

SharkPunch is an underwater VR game designed to help MS patients improve their balance.

 

Medical Education

VR can give medical students real-life, hands-on experience to practice medical situations is a controlled safe environment through the use of stimulation systems. This presents incredible potential to scale certain elements of medical education through immersive video environments. Lets look at who's building the classrooms of tomorrow.

Freefly VR

Freefly Vr have began testing pilot programs with medical professionals on educational content for gross processing of surgical specimens.

Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is the technique and process of creating visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of the function of some organs or tissues. The use of visuals makes medical imaging a prime area to test VR technology. Let's look at who is trying this.

EchoPixel 3D

Is a system that transforms standard CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRI images into 3D. These  images provide physicians with a more thorough understanding of patient structures and diseases enabling better diagnosis and patient outcomes.