For many of us the term virtual reality (VR) is still associated with science fiction, although we increasingly encounter VR and augmented reality applications in our daily lives.
More and more clinical studies and health professionals are proving the benefits of using VR in the healthcare field. A technology that was born focused on the world of leisure and video games, today has expanded to other fields such as artistic creation, military training, porn, archaeology and especially the health sector.
At this point, the pertinent question, no doubt, is what is really happening in the field of virtual reality and how could the countless possibilities of this fashionable technology be used in health care and the pharmaceutical industry?
We will now give you a comprehensive guide so that you can understand the importance, potential and magnitude that VR and AR can have when applied in the medical, health and pharmaceutical sector.
The rise of virtual reality through the learning and healthcare revolution
Virtual reality is based on real-time, three-dimensional computer-generated environments with which you can interact and experiment with multiple senses.
The spectrum of VR can vary from a fully immersive VR that completely replaces the real world, to a mix of VR with real world elements. The latter is better known as augmented reality.
The development of the VR field is rapid and has made applications increasingly affordable and flexible, but the technology may still be quite unfamiliar to many of us.
After years in the field, I feel a breakthrough has just occurred over the last year. People are starting to discover the ways in which VR can really help save money or streamline processes, and there has been a change in attitude towards VR.
Most of the laboratories that make up our pharmaceutical industry are facing the challenge of surprising and stimulating health professionals with new formats, channels and media through which to successfully deliver their messages.
Virtual reality technology not only represents an attractive and innovative way of showing interest in the sector, but also provides a type of experience with very relevant benefits compared to other more conventional formats.
People are giving up the mentality that everything that is transformed into virtual reality is interesting, which was common in the beginning. Now the lint is being removed, revealing the practical applications, and the real-life use cases are evoking wider interest.
Virtual reality provides an engaging, interactive and multi-sensory user experience that is impossible to achieve through traditional media. Internationally, the games industry has been one of the first to adopt VR technology, but it has gradually found its way into other fields such as engineering, construction and real estate.
The possibilities of VR in health care and pharmacy
In the health field, the potential of RV has been investigated for decades.
VR applications now provide an invaluable opportunity for surgeons to plan and perform surgeries in a virtual and real environment before entering an operating room. Virtual environments have also shown great promise in the treatment of pain, neurological rehabilitation after trauma, and the treatment of anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
In the pharmaceutical field, interest in RV has only recently begun to grow. Virtual and augmented realities can create environments that are impossible, or too expensive, to obtain in real life and provide a completely new type of tool for marketing and education.
There are clearly unmet needs that VR can address. You can, for example, show what an operating room looks like, or you can add a new machine and teach people how to use it.
Virtual reality can bring information and instructions to life, either with 3D VR glasses or with augmented reality, allowing for more efficient education, product demonstrations, etc.
VR allows users to actively participate in presentations and advice. By allowing doctors to experience the symptoms of a disease, thus helping them realize what their patients are going through, it can even increase empathy.
Three-dimensional representations of molecules and the ability to interact with microscopic particles in a VR environment can be used in the drug development and manufacturing process to help scientists track drug targets and predict molecular interactions.
Interest is turning to more experience-based content because it adheres better to people’s minds.
In certain sectors, discussions are under way to establish virtual showrooms, where equipment, processes and customer services could be introduced.
There are projects underway where a virtual reality environment is created that can be accessed, and then from the same 3D content a version that works on a touch screen can be created.
VR is no longer science fiction. The industrial and commercial potential of this versatile technology has been widely recognized and new VR and AR applications are continuously being developed. With the right expertise and some imagination, the possibilities of VR are endless.
This is especially true in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, where many things are difficult to understand and communicate: VR opens up a valuable new platform for sharing information and engaging audiences.
Advantages of using VR in the healthcare sectorAccessible to any type of project
Despite still being at the forefront of technology, today the market for virtual reality devices has undergone considerable democratisation, enabling us to find much more cost-effective solutions than just a couple of years ago.
This opens the door to simpler projects or initiatives that can now benefitof this technology.
As many uses and applications as you can imagine
We are convinced that the future holds many more virtual reality applications than we can imagine. Today, the most common areas of application of this technology in the healthcare communication sector would be the following:
Virtual reality is a very novel and attractive product that becomes the perfect claim when we are looking for the maximum notoriety for our event. Whether it is a product presentation or a dynamic stand, the possibilities offered by VR are perfect not only to ensure the attendance of the public but also to make the attendees remember the experience associated with our brand or product forever.
When we have little time to convey our content and we want the audience to pay as much attention as possible to making the meeting a stimulating one, we have to find innovative ways to go beyond the classic slide presentation scheme. Virtual reality facilitates this task by ensuring that our audience’s attention is drawn to the presentation from the very first second.
Explaining the innovation behind the use of a new molecule or the operation of a new medical device can be difficult without the right tools. Virtual reality is not only an attractive way to explain the science behind our project but it helps to shape our content in a clear, agile and versatile way.
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