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Using VR to Train Doctors: The Future of Healthcare

VR used to be all about fun and games. Wind the clock back 5 years, and the only practical uses of VR were games and the occasional virtual reality porn. VR has come a long way from those dark days with new technology that makes VR both more accessible to gamers and professionals alike.

When it comes to the medical profession, doctors are incredibly careful about the procedures they carry out. That’s why they require the best possible training. Classroom settings work well, but it’s the hands-on practice that many doctors must focus on.

This is where VR technology comes in. VR technology can enrich a doctor’s training through the following methods.

Improving Traditional Learning Methods

With more medical students that require training, doctors may not have enough time to focus on each of them. Medical universities use VR to remedy this.

Various institutions such as the Western University of Health Sciences, California and the University of Nebraska already incorporate VR into their training facilities. One of the ways they do this is by allowing students to take virtual tours of the human body. On top of this, students can also partake in training exercises where they view and interact with simulated environments that mimic the OR setting

Remote instruction is another way to use VR to train medical students. Through remote instruction via VR, doctors can walk students through procedures even if they’re on the opposite side of the globe. Students can view virtual operations and checkups of patients that are not available in their state. This not only enriches their learning experience but also saves them a lot of travel time.

Using VR to Help Students Practice

The medical profession requires precision that can only be gained through practice. However, it would be risky to make students practice on a live patient who can suffer consequences should things go wrong. VR remedies this by simulating these operations, thereby helping students learn the ins and outs of a particular operation.

Because VR also incorporates tactile sensors, this adds more realism to each simulated procedure. The best part is that these students can continue to practice in augmented reality before they can perform procedures on live patients.

Students Can Get Used to Emergency Situations

VR can simulate situations to acclimate students to emergencies. Not only does it test their knowledge of what they need to do, but it also sharpens their senses and critical thinking skills. This type of exposure helps students remain calm when an actual emergency arises. This can also help students learn how to manage their decision-making skills without putting someone’s life on the line.

Doctors Can Provide Virtual Assistance

Some medical professions are incredibly common, but there are a handful of rare medical experts too. These experts can’t always be where they are needed, so VR is there to bridge that gap.

For example, a doctor can call on a specialist for a certain type of surgery. Through VR, they can collaborate on the best procedure for a patient through a simulation of the patient’s body and symptoms. They can both see the patient’s situation in real time, which is crucial if the patient’s illness is time-sensitive. This type of guidance is priceless, especially for extremely rare medical cases.

Doctors can benefit from VR as much as any other professional. However, because they know that a life is at stake, it makes VR technology much more valuable.