Virtual Reality in Medicine

372 Words2 Pages
Virtual reality is quickly finding wide acceptance in the medical community as researchers and clinicians become aware of its potential benefits. In the United States, significant public dollars have been invested in the research and development of VR technologies, especially by the military which views VR as a promising tool for both training and physical and psychosocial rehabilitation. Several pioneer research groups have already demonstrated improved clinical performance using VR imaging, planning and control . Revolutionary health care applications have been studied for surgical procedures (e.g., remote surgery), medical therapy, preventive medicine, visualization of databases, skill enhancement and rehabilitation, and medical education and training . Virtual Reality has also been shown to be highly effective as a psychotherapeutic tool. It is often used to distract patients during painful medical procedures or to provide graded exposure during treatment for a wider range of anxiety disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder .Virtual Reality can provide a blend of both distraction and experiential therapies that teach patients these techniques within a structured, safe environment. The rapid advancement of technology combined with decreasing costs has propelled the VR field forward. Cutting edge VR systems have been designed to run on desktop and laptop personal computers, lowering costs to between € 6,275 and € 12,550 for a complete system. Real digitized images can now be introduced into virtual worlds, making it possible to replicate actual places, such as classrooms and family living rooms, in VR, increasing the potential to treat more mental health disorders including fear of public speaking, social phobia, and Attention deficit/ Hyperactive Disorder. By importing photographs of classmates, co-workers or family members into the
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