There are many uses of Virtual Reality in the area of medicine. The most common are: improvement in patient care; treatment of phobias and stress situations; as well as simulations to train health students.
In this article, we will focus on the last point, that is to say, the benefits of applying VR to the training of future medical professionals.
As we will see, this technology has the ability to simulate challenging situations, where users can learn from failures and mistakes in a safe environment.
Why? Because Virtual Reality immerses people in a 3D computer-generated environment where space and product design become realistic and do not involve risk for any patient.
Training benefits for medical professionals and students
#1 Increase the involvement and attention
VR enables health professionals to be totally focused on training, without distraction. In contrast, in face-to-face or multimedia-based training, people can be distracted from the learning experience by talking to their colleagues or looking at messages they have received on their smartphone. Virtual Reality glasses avoid all these outside distractions.
#2 Safe environment for training
This technology guarantees a safe environment in fields such as surgery and medicine so that future professionals can learn to perform catheterizations, endoscopies, cataract surgery, coronary artery bypass, cesarean sections, etc.
In this way, students can safely make mistakes and gain experience close to what they will face in the future when they are operating on patients in the surgical room.
Universities such as the ‘Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey’ are using VR and AR to train their medical students. In this specific case, they use Virtual Reality so that students learn anatomy lessons, participating in operations without putting patients at risk.
#3 Increases memorability
Another of the benefits of training professionals to deal with unexpected situations or those that may involve risks for the patient through Virtual Reality is that as it is a multi-sensorial training it improves the memory and user recall.
#4 More visual explanations
Thanks to VR, doctors can explain in a more visual way the medical problems, the areas where the patient will be operated during the surgery as well as the patient’s evolution after the treatment.
#5 Less costs
Finally, Virtual Reality makes it unnecessary to invest in complex and expensive infrastructure to train students in a face-to-face way, since with this technology, students can learn from their own homes through VR glasses.
VR also plays an important role in supporting patients who have to receive psychological treatment, related for example to problems such as Alzheimer’s, phobias or ADHD. This is because this technology immerses people in an alternative world that seems totally real, in which the patient can be gradually exposed to the situation that causes to be afraid.
In summary, Virtual Reality is a very useful tool for the training of students in all fields and according to the report developed by PwC ‘Seeing is believing. How virtual reality and augmented reality are transforming business and the economy’ within the health sector the economic impact of AR and VR can reach 312.9 million euros.