Virtual reality has truly come a long way since the original conception in the 1860s and even the utilization of virtual reality as a training device during the 1980s. These days we only view virtual reality as a means of entertaining through gaming, but the technology is so much more beneficial to human kind. There is certainly plenty of room for the entertainment factor, but here is a look at some of the ways virtual reality is being used currently.
The world of uses for virtual reality in the medical world is truly endless. One of the first ways you are likely to see virtual reality used within the medical field is during training. The only avenue for truly exploring the body and getting training into how to perform surgery was to use a cadaver. Virtual reality enables the student to learn in the virtual world and adapt their performance to real life scenarios. Teachers can enable the virtual reality program to mimic most any circumstance so the student can get on the job training, so to speak, before ever entering the hospital to perform surgery on a live person. This will likely cut down on the number of unfortunate accidents that can happen when students are given the go ahead to perform surgery before they are truly adapted to the skill level it takes.
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Another avenue that medical virtual reality is pursuing is the ability to allow the patient to truly understand the procedure that is going to be performed on them or a family member. Through virtual reality, the doctor can explain the medical issue in a way that is easy to understand without any of the medical jargon that can sometimes be difficult for the average patient to understand. The patient is able to have a clearer understanding of the entire procedure and for some people that can make going into surgery a bit easier to take. The medical uses for virtual reality are just now being discovered, so there is no telling what the future might hold for this ever-changing form of technology.
An Architect’s Right Hand
If you have ever, being an average person, tried to read an architect’s plans, it likely looked like a child trying to balance their parent’s checkbook. It simply does not make sense to those that are not trained to understand, yet this is what architects use to show to their customers. You can see where it would be quite confusing if you were paying an architect to build a building for you, yet you really could not visualize the concept due to the nature of the drawings.
These days’ architects have a key helper in their ability to convey their ideas to the client. Virtual reality programs such as Google Cardboard are able to allow the client to see exactly what they are getting and virtually walk through the structure. They can make changes and manipulate objects as they would like without having to go back to the drawing board and start over from scratch. This saves the architect valuable time and the client valuable money, so everyone wins with virtual reality in architecture. – Anthony Tornambe
We have already discussed how virtual reality can help in the medical field, but it is also very effective in treating patients in the mental health field as well. Stress related disorders such as phobias and even PTSD effect approximately one in five people worldwide. This is a significantly high number and sometimes the person is not able to take the standard calming drugs that are used to treat anxiety issues. There is growing research into the effectiveness of virtual reality to treat many of these disorders. The ability to take someone out of the current situation that is causing stress and transport them into an environment that is stress free and calming can help individuals that suffer from plaguing anxiety disorders.
The Status of Virtual Reality
The world is ever-changing and the same thing can be said for virtual reality. As new technologies come to light within the world of virtual reality, we are sure to see the sector grow. Although we are far from some of the science fiction classics such as Otherland coming to reality where people forget that they are in a virtual world and therefore allow their natural bodies to become neglected and die, we can see that virtual reality programs are becoming more like real reality every day. The technology will continue to grow as this form of alternate reality has the potential to help more people in more parts of the world than ever before. We will see virtual reality more often in the medical offices we visit as well as many agencies using the programs to train new recruits. The world is wide open and virtual reality is on track to take it over. – Anthony Tornambe