Nowadays, the healthcare industry is not only about treatment but also about making therapy and recovery more pleasant. Besides, doctors face another challenge – non-drug treatment implementation, as it is safer and partly more effective for patients. However, how to cope with these tasks? Read in our new article!
Virtual and augmented reality technologies are a powerful tool for non-drug treatment and rehabilitation for patients. However, where can they be used? We have prepared a list of areas based on various researches where you can find the answer.
We all know the statement that to overcome fear you need to face it. However, interacting with phobia objects can be dangerous for patients. For such cases AR simulations can be used. Through AR applications patients with e.g. arachnophobia can see how virtual life-like spiders are running on their hands. And in the moment of panic a person can turn off the phone and make sure that there is no actual threat.
Demonstration of Future Result
With AR technology doctors can allow patients to see what results they will get after treatment. This practice is especially useful for aesthetic medicine – dermatology, dentistry, and plastic surgery.
VR for Pain Management
Numerous studies have shown that virtual reality helps patients distract from the real world. Immersive technology draws attention to itself, allowing a person to forget about pain or discomfort. That is why VR apps are widely used as painkillers or even instead of anesthesia. Read more about this in our previous article.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD Treatment
Overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of nervousness that affects 1 in 13 people in the world. Patients with PTSD receive either psychotherapy or medication. One of the psychiatric treatment types is exposure therapy. Its essence is to create conditions in which patients face their fears to overcome them.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies are an excellent tool for exposure therapy. Studies indicated post-treatment improvement on all measures of PTSD and maintenance of these gains at a six-month follow-up, with a 34% decrease in clinician-rated symptoms of PTSD and a 45% decrease in self-reported symptoms of PTSD.
Thanks to the immersion, virtual reality also allows you to relieve stress and anxiety and make the patient relaxed. It is especially necessary and useful for patients who are constantly stressed, have neuroses or panic attacks. Users can immerse themselves through VR applications to meditate and recover for a while.
Speeding Up Recovery in Physical Therapy
Physical rehabilitation after injuries can be quite long for patients. Also, often performing basic exercises can be difficult even from a psychological point of view. That is why physiotherapists decided to use virtual reality experiences with elements of gamification. Such VR apps enable patients to be more relaxed during procedures, perform more exercises and feel less discomfort during training.
Informing Patients and Family
It is quite difficult for doctors to fully explain to patients and their relatives how exactly a procedure or operation is performed. As a result, uncertainty creates fears and nervousness, which negatively affects the general condition of the patient. For such cases, virtual or augmented reality applications illustrate the process and make it more clear to patients and their families.
Virtual and augmented reality are powerful tools for improving patient care. These technologies allow healthcare workers to deal with physical and mental problems and promote faster recovery of patients.