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3 ways modern medicine is using virtual technologies

Take a look at three ways virtual technologies are shaping health care and improving the lives of people around the world

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Modern medicine is a robust and quickly changing field, thanks — in large part — to continuing technological advancements that allow for wider access to patients, as well as deeper insight into the disease. From initial telecommunication advancements allowing doctors and patients and scientists to converse and collaborate remotely to a seemingly sci-fi ability to see and work inside bodies themselves, machines and automated systems have improved health care, and there are still more enhancements coming. Take a look at three ways virtual technologies are shaping health care and improving the lives of people around the world.

Simulation

Virtual reality technologies have existed since the 1800s when the stereoscope was first invented. Eventually marketed as today’s View-Master toys, these rudimentary virtual reality devices are more than simple toys, however, serving as the basis for the advanced tools that modern medicine and other industries (such as education, automotive, and law enforcement) use to make lives easier and safer than any other time in history.

While still used to simulate real-world experiences, medical virtual reality (VR) equipment does a lot more than entertain. Today’s doctors are using VR to visualize surgical treatments and educate and train themselves before they even pick up a scalpel. It’s an innovation that allows more clinicians the opportunity to watch and learn at the same time, saving time and money and providing greater coverage of care for patients who might otherwise have limited access to qualified health care providers.

Consultation

Of course, nowadays, nearly all medical practices are using virtual conferencing to remotely connect with patients since the current pandemic and social distancing mandates having made actual face-to-face meetings harder to schedule and more dangerous to accommodate. ThriveMD, a stem cell and regenerative medicine clinic in Colorado, for instance, has been offering remote sessions for anyone needing orthopedic pain management treatment but not willing or able to leave home to discuss it.

With this type of consultation becoming ubiquitous, it’s also becoming more common for enhanced engagement during the actual care visit, as well. Scientists stationed in space and on Antarctic Research Stations are already being evaluated by doctors remotely using virtual augmented techniques that allow doctors to take basic health readings (like pulse rate) and connect visually with patients. This helps reduce costs and time commitments (for both patient and practitioner) and is often more convenient (and therefore more productive), as well!

Application

Finally, virtual technologies are making it easier than ever for people to get advanced care between medical appointments. Rather than visit a doctor’s office to receive services, patients can implement virtual reality techniques that condition their bodies at home instead. In many instances, gaming techniques can actually enrich the care experience, prompting patients to take more interest in their own treatments.

Physical therapy can be made more fun and interactive using virtual reality headsets, for example. Furthermore, physicians can use virtual tools to collect data from their patients, monitoring and adjusting care in real-time when needed without requiring patients to come into an actual office for diagnostic tests. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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