The benefits of VR within medicine and education

Gaming is the most common association in regards to virtual reality. Most of the public masses haven’t fully grasped the capabilities of VR and that it stretches beyond the entertainment industry. Virtual Reality has put a spin on education and training within medicine, the military and classroom learning.  VR for training and education within the medical sector can stretch to simulations that can allow students to conduct and practice surgery without having to risk the life of a patient.

Simulated surgery isn’t new

Augmented reality has already created training apps for medical students. Unfortunately this does not equate to passing a scalpel in a 3D environment. VR is the closest product to a life like experience as it offers the tense atmosphere of a surgical room. This allows students to be fully submerged into an environment where fast analytical skills are essential as it becomes a realistic hypothetical life or death situation.

Simulated Surgery vs Virtual Surgery

The cost of simulated surgery can unfortunately be high at an estimated range of five thousand to two-hundred thousand dollars. Although surgery in reality isn’t exactly cheap either, at around fifty thousand dollars for a four year surgical practice in the US. Universities would benefit from buying the virtual equipment. It can be used at any time, any place and lasts longer. The loss of risk means if the surgery goes wrong the universities name will not be tarnished and the headsets could provide a fuller education as students can gain more practice within medicine.

The Microsoft Hololens headset has allowed surgeons to operate with lower risk to the patient. This product reveals parts of the body that are hard to uncover.  Now medical students can gain a deeper understanding of the human body as their visualisation becomes clearer.

Education Has Not Evolved In The Last One Hundred Years

Products like the Hololens, the Oculus or the HTC Vive can change education. Everything over the past one hundred years has evolved to optimise it’s efficiency whether it’s retail, mechanical or medicinal. The fact that education has not changed over the last one hundred years stands out dramatically. A collaboration between Glasgow School of Art Design School and NES produced an incredibly realistic 3D human head and neck which allows students to see how parts of the body function and interact. This example shows us that even Augmented Reality can be extremely helpful. Virtual Reality could be the next step into bringing education up to date with the rest of the world and optimise our generations potential. 

medicine in VR
Credit; Glasgow School of Art

The Eventual Platform

Not only can Eventual build a platform that allow future doctors to learn and experience operating on a human body, it allows them to train together as a team. By practising as a team in a virtual environment this helps them achieve a more life like experience of being in the operating room.

 

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