Virtual Reality in Patient Care

Current uses and future clinical applications

For decades, virtual reality (VR) has been evaluated for its potential to improve clinical training and education, interactive diagnostic imaging, pain management, psychiatric and behavioral treatment, and general patient health and wellness. Despite the evidence that demonstrates the promising medical efficacy of VR, most of this past research has been academic, and so this technology is not yet widely used in health care.

While many are still skeptical regarding the use of VR in clinical settings, other industry stakeholders feel VR offers the potential to not only bolster existing treatment methods, but also open up new avenues for patient care in the near future. Our briefing discusses how VR fits into health care, its uses across four medical categories, and the benefits and challenges of VR adoption.

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