How Does Virtual Reality Help With Healthcare?

How Does Virtual Reality Help With Healthcare?

What do you think of when you hear the term virtual reality?

  • Do you think of the video games your child plays sitting on the couch, staring at the television?
  • Do you think of lots of action, high entertainment, cool designs and life-like graphics?
  • Do you think of a gamer wearing a headset, swinging his arms as he takes on bad guys no one can see but him?

Thanks to the ever-changing technology we now have in place, virtual reality is so much more.

Virtual reality is a relatively easy technology to implement in today’s business models, and can be done so in a variety of ways. For many healthcare projects, it can provide:

Design Medical Facilities More Effectively

One of the easiest places to use VR is in the design of new office space. Rather than building out space and wishing for changes a short time after you move in, virtual reality lets you try out facilities before you ever break ground or pound a nail. VR removes the ambiguity from design that can lead to costly changes late in the process. It allows doctors and staff members to get a sense of the true scale, spacing and functionality of a room before finalizations occur. It can help a client feel the full volume of a room, discover the flow and the movement, and avoid potential problems especially when duplicating rooms over and over again, such as in a hospital or living facility where rooms repeat throughout the building.

Surgery In Virtual Reality

As technology changes, there are a lot of firsts in the way surgeons operate on patients. Due to demographics, relatively few people can witness these changes, except through write-ups which occur long after the event. With virtual reality, doctors from around the world can see best practices almost first hand. The whole operation can be broadcast live through virtual reality, giving medical professionals the opportunity to share space with some of the greatest minds in the world.

Virtual Reality Can Cure Phobias and Improve PTSD

Therapists and doctors the world over have advocated exposure therapy – where a person confronts that which they are most scared of. With up to five percent of the population severely impacted by significant phobias, virtual reality can offer a major opportunity to those lives that have been impacted, where exposure therapy is often impractical. VR can help clinicians place patients within realistic and immersive scenes that trigger anxieties or fear, then guided through the scene so that they learn how to cope with the situations in which they are placed.

Where else have you seen virtual reality enter the healthcare marketplace? Would it benefit your business environment?

Is Your Practice Ready For Telemedicine?

The entire healthcare industry is currently under significant change. The Affordable Care Act has increased the number of Americans with health insurance. And while that has increased the number of people seeking out medical care, at the same time the number of doctors graduating and seeking employment in the healthcare system is decreasing. Predictions show the US will be short by as many as 91,500 physicians by 2020, with that number swelling to more than 130,600 by 2025.

Enter telemedicine. Even though it’s important to build a long term solution to rectify the shortage, telemedicine has a way of quickly taking over the impact of this shortage. It may be something your practice is considering for a variety of reasons.

It can increase physician productivity

A physician’s time is very valuable. Yet physicians often find themselves with a lot of wasted time throughout the day left empty by patient cancellations or scheduling problems. Telemedicine services can allow a physician to use downtime productivity, meeting with more patients that truly have a need.

It can provide specialty services even in remote locations

Doctor shortages are especially high in the rural communities. While they may have generalists on hand, rarely are specialists in place. Telemedicine can relieve shortages, and bring in the right people for the patients most in need.

It can initiate collaboration

As more doctors build up unique specialties, working on cases specific in nature, telemedicine allows them to share that expertise with other doctors from around the world. This can bring fast acting solutions to conditions that may have otherwise gone untreated.

Yet with all of the benefits also comes risk.

Patient records are at greater risk

With more people needing access to patient files also comes more risk. It’s important to choose programs that can easily be accessed by any doctor or medical personnel you choose to do business with, make the process easy and seamless from any device in the world, while at the same time meeting the highest standards of control.

Cloud applications can increase risk

While there is a growing trend for medical practices to use cloud based storage and applications to eliminate the costs of having to maintain internal systems, and to allow access to data across a variety of electronic devices from anywhere in the world, choosing cloud based applications should be done with care. Chosen vendors should be analyzed for their security standards to ensure your data is well cared for at all times.

Different locations, different rules

Collaborating with a doctor in a different state increases your risk. But when you open up your patient files to medical personnel from different countries, the risks increase tenfold. Is your data being encrypted as it’s being uploaded or downloaded for view? Are the devices safe and secure on both ends? Do all parties meet your safety standards?

While the only thing that is for sure in the coming months and years within the medical world is change, there are ways to better prepare yourself and your business to ensure safety throughout. If you have questions about risks associated with the new way of running a modern day medical practice, give us a call.