Most industries from retail and entertainment to medical and engineering are brainstorming into finding use-cases through computer technologies, specifically, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Although these technologies are there in the technological world for a while now, their benefits are slowly but surely revealing themselves. But from all that we know about AR and VR, the primary technology is coming to play for all industries shortly into the future.
The tomorrow of this generation’s work-life will be majorly based on being able to utilize the capabilities and potential of AR and VR in their areas of expertise.
Even though these technologies are easy to use, allowing students of all fields to inculcate their uses becomes important.
AR and VR have had an immense impact in the world of medicine. And it wouldn’t be long until all of the technology shifts to AR and VR technologies at hospitals.
So, to keep pace with the same, medical education must adopt the new change in preferred technology by moulding itself towards the demands of medicine as a discipline itself.
To put things simply, medical education should start catering to students by providing AR and VR technologies. This will ensure that future doctors are conversant with the technologies which will be required in the medical field soon enough.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are finding widespread application in the medical teaching sector.
- AR/VR is changing the elementary ways of how medical teaching is imparted as it provides so many details but in a simplistic way.
- Immersive learning for medical students has been made possible through AR/VR simulations providing in-depth analysis.
- Because of AR/VR solutions, surgeons are finding opportunities to practice their complicated surgeries on simulations.
- Frequent and detailed training is imparted to medical personnel on a regular basis while using AR/VR simulation solutions. It also shows better results in comparison to traditional methods.
What are the popular applications of AR VR in medical teaching sector?
Before I go ahead and answer this question, you should know that AR and VR applications in medical education and practices will become an inseparable part of the medical field. This is the next step in revolutionizing medical education for good. It will also bring immense value to this domain with the mere adaptation of AR/VR technology and revamping the pedagogy of education.
And so, we must be aware of its progress and impact in medical education in today’s time.
Here are some ways in which AR and VR are changing the medical sector:
1. Immersive Learning for Medical Students
One of the lucrative features of AR and VR technologies includes a one-of-its-kind immersive experience that it provides. Mixed Reality or MR along with AR and VR in medical education allows students to view and interact with actual organs and various other parts of the human body.
These options are very much limited without the involvement of AR and VR technology. And the conventional form of education has always been physical 3D models of different organs of the human body. This has quite limited usability and there isn’t much scope to go more into the details of it all.
Then again, this is only the beginning of how far AR and VR can enhance medical education for the better. At Stanford University, medical students are already using medical VR labs to facilitate students to see inside the organs and detect problems.
The scope is so huge that a student can virtually place themselves inside the simulation of an infant’s heart and can take a walk around it to observe problems.
2. Practicing Surgeries
AR and VR applications equip surgeons and medical students to practice surgeries and study them beforehand. This is one of the most crucial transformations brought forth from the inclusion of these technologies as it is going to change the way surgery is being taught to students.
All of it is possible due to the ability of AR and VR technologies to show the formation of various structures in utmost detail. With these technologies, simulated surgeries can be performed by budding medical students and expert surgeons without requiring a patient to practice on. This provides a whole another level of learning dimension to surgeons for perfecting their skills.
Like, for example, the formation of the spine and where the problem is through the skin, which allows doctors to then skip the process of cutting open the skin or slicing or drilling into the bone itself.
3. Providing Empathetic Treatments with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions
While most of us think AR and VR technologies can make people immerse in entertainment media and thus, make us oblivious to what’s happening around us. But this isn’t true. VR medical technology would specifically disagree on this fact.
The reason is that the healthcare workers have found a way by using VR medical technology to be able to empathize with their patients and relatives of the patient. By understanding their situation and interacting with them with more understanding and knowledge of the situation of their health.
VR in medical technology that is being used at the University of New England, lets medical students experience and feel problems like vision, speech, and hearing impairments.
Students can even understand what it is like for old people with even severe problems such as advanced stages of macular degeneration.
This kind of simulation enables better learning and understanding for students and healthcare workers. It also helps them to come up with a robust and unbiased medical assessment of the situation. Through this technology, the medical staff and caretakers would be more accustomed to the patient’s needs. This will equate to a better quality of service and better quality of life for the patients.
It develops empathy towards their patients by understanding their issues and adjusting their quality of work and service positively to better treat their patients.
4. Training Medical Personnel through AR/VR Technology
A realistic and enhanced training program can be made for medical students by applying AR and VR technologies. The VR-based applications zoom into human anatomy enabling medical training for students to be less dependent on the availability of medical labs or lab experts or professors.
By adopting this, medical students can find a way to be exceedingly self-sufficient without even having to compromise on the quality of their education and learning.
One such experiment was conducted by Google using Google Glasses and also aims at how VR learning provides more accuracy than simple, traditional learning. The experiment was about comparing the quality of training imparted through two aforementioned learning methods.
This study included teaching a skill to two groups either visually or through VR, where the group learned the skill by doing it.
The results showed the VR group to be the undisputed winner in terms of efficacy. Also, applying VR technology in medical education could allow lesser medical errors from future doctors.
Although, the introduction of AR and VR technology into medical education could see further advanced uses in the medical domain. This will further increase the efficiency of medical operations as well.
With that being said, the future of most industries will rely heavily on AR and VR technology. But its benefits will be most reaped by the medical field as it can save the lives of humans and would provide a better quality of care for patients. Apart from this, it provides superior quality of learning experience to medical professionals while enhancing the ease of functionality too.
So, the medical educational field should be prepared for this inevitable transformation to come and must accept it sooner than later. This will ensure that all healthcare workers stay updated about advanced medicines and technologies.
There is a lot of exploring to be done in the realms of AR and VR technology. If you are new to this technology and this article has piqued your interest in knowing more about AR/VR applications, consider researching about the same. With enough knowledge, you can also come up with the next big AR/VR application to revolutionize the world!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality is the real-time information utilization in the form of graphics, audio, text and other virtual and auditory enhancements integrated with real-life objects.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation in which an individual can interact with an artificial three-dimensional world using electronic devices like 3D goggles with a screen and gloves fitted with various sensors.
Is AR/VR bad for the eyes?
Although AR/VR applications provide a lot of benefits, doctors advise that too much usage of it will cause eye strain as the brain is forced to process visual stimuli more than normal.
What is the biggest difference between AR and VR?
AR uses real-world set-up but VR generates and uses a virtual world. AR users can control their presence in the real world. But VR uses are controlled by the system generating the visual inputs.
What is outlining AR?
Outlining AR identifies boundaries and lines to assist in certain conditions which human eyes won’t be able to. It uses object recognition to understand a user’s immediate surroundings.