The role of virtual reality in hospitals is constantly evolving. On a holistic level, technology in the medical industry is revolutionizing the way we approach disease, treatment, and rehabilitation processes.
The world is no stranger to global pandemics and the devastation they bring. The Spanish flu infected over one-third of the world’s population in 1918, and over 50 million people lost their lives.
A little over a century later, we are hit by COVID-19, and the whole world is preparing to fight its spread. At the time of writing, around 1,016,330 confirmed cases have been reported already with over 53,000 deaths.
With a high infection rate and lack of peculiar symptoms – it’s hard to distinguish between the regular flu and the pandemic – the novel COVID-19 has caused the entire globe to enforce a lockdown.
Social distancing and wearing personal protection equipment, such as masks and gloves, is the new norm and part of everyday routine all over the world. However, when compared to previous pandemics, medical professionals now have new technological breakthroughs to rely on to combat the Coronavirus.
One such technology that has proven its worth is virtual reality. Let’s delve in and explore how we can use VR to provide better patient care.
Using Virtual Reality In Medicine
The use of virtual reality can help doctors and healthcare professionals provide better care to their patients. VR can assist with:
- Planning A Course Of Action
What may seem like regular flu can be the early symptoms of the Coronavirus. Infected people often complain of shortness of breath, mild coughing, and flu-like symptoms.
There is no telling if an individual is infected without a proper test. But all thanks to the use of virtual reality in hospitals, doctors can now know the intensity of the infection, significantly increasing the chances of patients recovering sooner.
VR allows medical professionals to create 3D footage of the patient’s lungs, and doctors can then view the images up close — to determine the best treatment.
- Medical Training
Hospitals also use virtual reality medical technology to train nurses and other health care professionals on the use of equipment and patient-care protocols. COVID-19 is highly contagious, and as our first line of defense, the staff at a hospital is the most at risk.
In such a scenario, training the staff at hospitals to protect themselves from the infection and to limit its spread is an imperative task. VR allows for medical professionals to be trained seamlessly, negating the need for travel or exposure to other humans.
With the use of virtual reality for medical training purposes, hospital management can train employees on:
- Handling people who come in for the COVID-19 test
- To safely carry out routine work
- Precautionary measures when dealing with quarantined patients
- Maintaining good hygiene
VR training videos ensure holistic learning as the visuals are close to reality, and the viewers feel they are actually a part of the video.
- Providing Better Patient Care
The recommended quarantine period for COVID-19, for both suspected and positive cases, is 14 days.
Doctors can use virtual reality to provide better patient care and to incorporate unorthodox treatments for the pandemic. Additionally, doctors can also use VR technology to educate themselves about the virus and seek possible treatment options for patients.
COVID-19 is a global threat, and we need to take the recommended precautionary measures to remain safe.
The use of VR in hospitals is already picking up, and healthcare professionals are exploring ways to find better treatment options and to improve patient care as the pandemic grows.
People with a compromised immune system are at high risk. Medical professionals and hospital staff should make use of all that VR technology has to offer to help the maximum number of people in need.