Here’s how virtual reality could change medical research after COVID-19

Key Notes:

  • COVID-19 has prompted numerous medical trials to halt since it has pushed research labs around the world to close their doors.
  • Virtual reality (VR) could provide scientists with a risk-free way to perform potentially life-saving research and trials.
  • Virtual reality has already been utilised in research and training simulations, and it has the potential to transform how we obtain, test, and apply scientific knowledge.

Medical research projects are how we gain knowledge and develop new technologies that help us live better, healthier lives. Medical research funding has been increasing in the United States, and it is a widely supported undertaking. While certain critical medical research, like as that into COVID-19 and its mitigation, will continue in traditional labs, many researchers will need to develop ways to operate in a pandemic-centric setting, and virtual solutions may be helpful.

Virtual reality training simulations have proven to be useful in establishing and distributing health-care practices. In areas like pain management and psychotherapy, the effectiveness of virtual reality as a medical intervention has been extensively researched. Virtual reality, for example, has been successfully employed in exposure treatment, in which patients are (virtually) faced with things they dread, lessening their phobias over time.

Several clinical trials have distributed virtual reality equipment to research participants’ homes in order to evaluate therapies such as balance training for Parkinson’s disease patients. Students have also received equipment from medical education researchers, allowing them to practise their skills.

While researchers around the world struggle to discover ways to revitalise their studies, VR might be added to the arsenal of options. They have the opportunity and necessity to break free from the existing quo and establish more robust and adaptable methods for gathering evidence, testing hypotheses, and inventing new goods and technology for better health.

“Virtual reality (VR) isn’t merely a backup option for medical research and clinical trials when traditional laboratories are closed.”

It has a lot of potential benefits on its own. One apparent application is in research involving tests conducted at a person’s home rather than at a hospital or laboratory.

There are still certain roadblocks in the path of widespread VR adoption.

  • Protocols for the safe usage of VR headsets by numerous users
  • The creation of reliable software tools for clinical research VR environments is a need that has yet to be filled.
  • Globally, there are around 26 million VR headsets in use, however many of these may not be suited for medical study.
  • The internet, technological skill, and technical support are the other significant accessibility factors.
  • Data and Privacy Concerns

Given the dangers of many physical spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual reality is an obvious answer to many new and worsening problems. Virtual reality has already made a positive impact on the way we live, learn, play, and socialise. Although consumer acceptance has lagged below expectations, healthcare and medicine have always been areas where VR applications flourish. We may need to construct the infrastructure as we use it, but once the benefits and conveniences are established, virtual reality medical research is likely to be here to stay.

Summary:

 Companies, big or small, have opened up for AR/VR investments. Some renowned companies like Playstation, Steam, and Valve are known to be the early adopters of VR and AR technologies and the list grows. On the other hand, the demand for VR/AR skills is skyrocketing.

AR and VR are becoming mainstream with the proliferation of connected devices. Currently, the applications of AR and VR are mainly seen in the Gaming, Entertainment, Marketing, Education, Fashion, and Art industries. Today to live without Internet is unimaginable and in the future, this statement may changes as living without AR/Vr applications couldn’t be possible!  

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