Virtual Reality therapies have the power to reduce pain by controlling the brain of a patient from recognizing illness.
FREMONT, CA: Virtual Reality (VR) is spreading like a forest fire in the Healthcare Industry. VR is used for several purposes in the medical field. In a recent study, it was revealed that it also reduces chronic pain and makes the patient feel better, where the VR creates an immersive distraction that restricts the brain from processing pain.
“VR is a way to escape the real world into something more fantastic. It has the potential to be the most social technology of all time,” says Chris Milk, Founder & CEO of Within (formerly Vrse), a VR experience company. Virtual reality therapies for pain occupy the brain in such a manner that no space is left for pain sensations at that particular time. These therapies distract the patient from the suffering through which the patient is going.
Brennan Spiegel, a physician and the director of Cedars-Sinai Health Services Research in Los Angeles claims that VR changes the way of recognizing pain. Recently, research was done in which the patients were divided into two groups. One group tries VR to reduce pain, and another group of patients got to watch health channel on TV. It is found from the results that the group which opted VR devices, got relief in pain about three times compared to the other group. Distraction is just one element in reducing pain through VR technologies. Other factors related to working of VR in reducing pain are still not apparent.
There are some cheap ways suggested by doctors, to access to Virtual reality experiences at home. One can easily find ‘VR beach’ and ‘VR forest’ on the YouTube search engine. It is also suggested to consult with doctors before self-treating with VR technologies.
The devices needed to implement VR technology are head-mounted display with head tracking, headphones, and a joystick, rumble pad or other devices for manipulation/navigation.
VR technology already helps patients who suffer from different ills and helps doctors in some disciplines of medicine. Virtual reality is used in the healthcare industry for various purposes:
1. Treat pain: Virtual Reality therapies are designed to stop the brain from processing pain and reduce pain. The VR distracts the mind of the patient from the pain and fixes the focus on the VR world, which in turn will reduce the pain.
2. Enhance care for aged: Generally, due to the age difference between elderly and young doctors, it is difficult for the doctors to understand the situation through which the older people are going through. VR products help young doctors to live like older adults for some minutes and help to experience life from the more former patient’s perspective. This process will allow caregivers to provide better care and treatment.
3. Upgrade studies: With the assistance of VR, medical students could efficiently study about any surgery. VR goggles help the students to understand every procedure and trick performed during operation. This technology will give real-time access to all interested students and can bring teaching and learning to a higher level.
4. Improve surgeries: VR presents 3D models to the medical industry, which helps surgeons to plan operations. Before operations, surgeons can quickly get a clear and magnified image of the body undergoing surgery.
5. Treatment for mental health: The use of telemedicine can prove a better treatment for mental health. VR plays a significant role in treating child disorders and psychiatric conditions in various ways.
The main benefits behind using virtual reality are it can be used remotely, saves money and time, it is considered as safe and realistic. It is the initial stage of using VR for pain management. In future VR will gain more attention and will get a developed phase. The expansion of VR will prove a boon for both the patient and the healthcare industry.