Virtual Reality in Medical Training: Educate Better, Save More Lives

Explore what virtual reality medical training is, what the advantages of this method are.
Updated: Aug 30, 2023
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Medicine has always been one of the most vital industries for humanity. That’s why scientists and technological innovators don’t stop toiling to get the healthcare industry more accurate and effective solutions. Revolutionary technology not only saves lives but also makes it possible to prolong them.

VR technologies have become a promising field that improves medical training and makes therapy more precise. For example, research has shown that the use of VR applications for laparoscopic surgery training improved the quality of education in 74% of studies. Moreover, 87% of studies have shown that specialists who trained with VR improved their operational accuracy.

In this article, you’ll explore what virtual reality medical training simulation is, what the advantages of this method are, and how to find a VR app development company for your needs.

What is VR Medical Training?

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Virtual reality medical training is a modern method of training specialists in healthcare. This technology allows users to experience various scenarios in virtual surroundings. For example, users can immerse themselves by seeing a virtual human body from various angles and scales. Thanks to this, students and interns can train interactively at a higher level, while doctors can polish their professional skills.

VR is a technology that generates a virtual environment with an immersive effect. It is presented via a headset that includes VR glasses, headphones, and usually hand controllers for movement imitation, creating a sensation of reality. Therefore, users can experience situations they would never be able to in the real world because of physical limitations.

How is Virtual Reality Changing Medical Training?

Many educational institutions and hospitals have long been unable to provide a full-fledged practical course of study. It's more often not because of a lack of knowledge, but because they lack the resources to create all possible medical cases for students’ practice.

The limitations of the physical world don’t allow us to learn quickly and go through all possible scenarios of medical practice to know how to act in real life. That’s why VR training has come to the rescue. Take a look at some examples that show how virtual reality has improved medical training.

  • Students have got more real cases for study. Medical students often study with corpses in order to learn more about the human body and practice operations on the real body. Unfortunately, this does not give a full understanding of how the operation is performed on a living person. On the contrary, VR technology immerses students in real medical cases and suggests optimal actions while training.

  • Interactive training improved educational progress. VR technology immerses students directly in a simulated medical environment. Visual display of organs is shown in 3D, creating an atmosphere of a real operation, making it possible not only to study abstract theory and imagine situations in which you have never been but also get real experience from which you can learn more successfully.

  • The ability to explore the inside of a human body Students can explore a human body from the inside without real intervention. The VR user can examine the body at an approximate scale and 360 °, as well as observe how organs work. The technology also makes it possible to trace how organs are connected throughout the body.

  • Hundreds of interactive medical cases. Patient treatment and operations don’t always go like scripts from textbooks. Situations and circumstances are different, so it takes many years to get an expert level of experience. VR medical training software generates hundreds of real cases and creates a real environment for them. Thus, students gain years of experience from a self-contained training course.

  • High-level further training. Medical education begins in college but never ends. Doctors undergo regular training in order to update their knowledge and prove that they are real professionals who can be trusted with human lives. VR training makes learning more comfortable and more effective at any stage of your career.

One more important advantage of VR training is that during education, the user can be accompanied by a virtual instructor who provides students with up-to-date information and guides them.

Ways to Use Virtual Reality for Medical Training

VR technology is becoming more advanced and accessible, so the uses of VR in healthcare are constantly growing in number and scope. Take a look at a few main ways to use virtual reality for medical training.

Virtual reality surgery training

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For students, training to operate on a real person is quite dangerous, even under the supervision of a doctor. An inexperienced specialist can increase the time of the operation while every minute matters.

That’s why a solution was developed in 2019 — a VR surgery simulation with a haptic glove was demonstrated at the annual AAOS (American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons) conference. The technology allows immersion into simulated surgical procedures and imitates the exact moves during surgery with your hands. That way, virtual reality medical training systems for anatomy education and surgical training significantly reduces the risk of complications during the surgery.

Rehabilitation with VR technology

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VR for therapy and training can be used not only to train medical staff but also to accelerate the virtual-to-physical rehabilitation of patients. For example, the hand rehabilitation app created by the Program-Ace promotes more effective recovery with interactive physical therapy and positive reinforcement after each successful step.

A patient is accompanied by a virtual instructor, and their current progress can be seen on the headset screen. This product helps hundreds of patients restore hand flexibility and freedom of movement quickly after trauma or illness.

Communication with patients

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Fear of surgery or tomophobia is a common problem among patients who require surgery. Specialists have concluded that one of the causes for fear is the unknown — a lack of understanding of what awaits them during and after surgery.

It is mainly children who are prone to stress and anxiety when visiting doctors. So, in a Los Angeles hospital, specialists use VR to distract the attention of children during medical procedures. As a result, the level of anxiety is decreased, and parents and doctors note a more effective process of treatment and recovery.

Virtual reality emergency training

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Emergencies endanger human life, requiring immediate and confident intervention from healthcare professionals. Emotional tension in such cases creates a lot of pressure on the medical staff, so a lot of training is needed to teach students how to act quickly and accurately in stressful situations.

That's why it’s better to use virtual reality for emergency cases simulation during medical education. For example, Florida’s EMS Section trains responders via VR headsets for pediatric emergencies. Hundreds of different scenarios create a tense environment in the field. Thus, participants are better able to cope with emergencies in real life.

Working with medical equipment

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A steady hand is a must for every doctor. There is much equipment in the medical arsenal that they must be able to use with confidence. When interacting with a patient, one wrong move can create additional difficulties.

Fortunately, with VR, students, interns, and doctors can practice using medical equipment for as long as they need to. For example, a VR app that simulates a dialysis machine allows users to train on this specific equipment for kidney treatment and perform a procedure as long as they need to learn it perfectly.

Choosing the Best Virtual Reality Medical Training Companies for Your App

The process of developing an application for VR medical training doesn’t take much time if specialists are with the right expertise working on the project. When choosing a reliable technical partner, experience, awards, and many successful projects speak for themselves.

Program-Ace is a company with 25 years of experience, which includes the development of software for the medical industry with innovative technologies, such as the VR rehabilitation app we mentioned. Program-Ace is also an official member of the Forbes Technological Council and has received many awards and recognition, such as Top B2B companies, top VR/AR developers, and more.

We will be happy to develop custom software for training medical professionals and saving lives at the most optimal timelines for you. Contact us and we will discuss all your requirements and wishes.

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