Virtual reality is moving far beyond the science fiction realm these days. In fact, new research indicates the global market for virtual reality in healthcare could climb close to $4 billion by 2020, driven by IT advances, increasing demand for rehabilitation and simulation training, and preference for minimally invasive or noninvasive procedures.

Take a look at five ways virtual reality is starting to make waves in healthcare:

  1. Medical education and visualization. The retention rate a year after virtual training tops 80%, compared to 20% after one week for traditional training. It’s ideal for practicing complex, high-risk activities such as brain and spine surgeries.
  2. Fine-tuning surgeries. Virtual reality can be used to evaluate tumors, aneurysms, vascular malformations and complex fractures to plan surgeries more effectively.
  3. Physician support. Virtual assistants could provide real-time information, alert doctors to missing information in EHRs, authenticate a patient’s identity and assist in care coordination.
  4. Empowering patients. The USC Center for Body Computing uses virtual reality to help patients better understand treatment options.
  5. Anxiety treatment. Virtual reality shows potential for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and other anxiety conditions.

Learn more about the plethora of promising uses for virtual reality in healthcare today.

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