Tech companies face many challenges in introducing augmented reality and virtual reality to healthcare industries, including high cost, lack of standardization, possible safety issues, and ultimately–public distrust. Due to the relative novelty of the technology, there is a general lack of scientific evidence to support the use of virtual reality in healthcare, and some healthcare leaders are unsure what to think.
In this article, we’ll discuss three companies that have demonstrated their careful evaluation of VR and AR programs before selling them for implementation in healthcare systems. But first – why is virtual reality in healthcare?
VR and AR technologies will innovate healthcare. Here’s how.
Virtual reality refers to the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment, while augmented reality refers to a technological superimposition of a computer-generated image onto a user’s view.
Virtual reality and augmented reality once seemed like far-out science fiction concepts, but now they’re here: not only for entertainment but with real applications in engineering, education, and, for the purposes of this discussion, healthcare. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in healthcare can transform the industry by improving healthcare education, enhancing patient care, and ultimately ensuring better patient outcomes.
VR can provide a realistic and immersive learning environment for healthcare professionals to practice procedures and techniques. VR can also teach patients about their conditions and how to manage them, improving outcomes.
AR is also being used to enhance the training and education of healthcare professionals. For example, AR can be used to display information and guidance on a surgeon’s field of view during a procedure, which can help improve the surgery’s accuracy and efficiency.
VR and AR also provide patients with a feeling of immersion and distraction during painful or anxiety-provoking procedures, such as chemotherapy or childbirth. The possibilities for this type of technology are endless—if it works. But does it work?
Skeptics aren’t so convinced about virtual reality in healthcare. Here’s why:
VR and AR have long been challenged as confusing, expensive, and downright sickening. Have you ever put on a pair of Oculus glasses and felt more like you were wearing beer goggles? For patients with certain medical conditions, VR-induced dizziness is no joke. AR and VR experiences may not work for people with epilepsy, motion sickness, or migraine disorders.
There are too many AR and VR providers to track in the healthcare landscape. Immersive touch designs 3D virtual reality models using a patient’s medical imaging data. SyncThink offers a VR headset that tracks eye movements and identifies concussions. Fundamental Surgery Platform offers an educational VR platform that allows healthcare students and professionals to learn and practice surgeries. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With so many different VR systems available on the market, there isn’t yet a standard practice for how each system suits a hospital’s needs. Some research suggests that AR and VR can be beneficial for specific medical applications.
Still, more research is necessary to quiet the skeptics entirely and establish best practices for using AR and VR. That’s why AR and VR companies need to speak with authority—and have the evidence to back it up.
These three companies are making a case for virtual reality in healthcare.
While the overall prognosis for virtual reality in healthcare is still unclear, a number of companies have already successfully made their case for AR and VR’s place in healthcare. Here are three examples of companies that are leading virtual reality in healthcare and how they’re proving their value.
- AppliedVR: AppliedVR is a company that develops VR content and technology for use in healthcare. The company’s VR programs are used in various medical settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and senior living facilities. Their website boasts their claim as the first to utilize traditional medical devices for virtual reality-based therapeutics. They publish clinical trials with leading healthcare institutions that establish evidence-based credibility as they seek FDA approval.
- XR Health: Formerly known as VR Health, XR Health develops AR and VR programs for pain management and rehabilitation and the first virtual reality clinics to provide remote patient care. Through the critical innovation of telehealth systems and the relief of a pain point in our post-pandemic virtual world, XR Health has proved its staying value in the healthcare field.
- Oxford VR: Oxford VR is a company that develops VR programs for mental health treatment and rehabilitation. The company’s programs are designed from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles to help patients learn coping skills and strategies to manage their mental health conditions. With the authoritative voice of Daniel Freeman and his team at Oxford University, OxfordVR programs are evidence-based with studies that show their capability to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
A cancer screening startup got a website to match its potential
A medical technology startup, Ezra used the latest technology to screen patients for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, its website didn’t match these ambitions—it was too serious, and risked alienating the at-risk patients Ezra was trying to attract. But after approaching MarketSmiths, Ezra soon got a website it could be proud of. Interviewing a number of SMEs, we dug deep into the science of cancer diagnosis—while keeping copy upbeat and approachable. Between that and help with social media and SEO, we’ve helped transform Ezra into one of the most impressive healthcare firms around—and kept their audience safe from the scourge of cancer.
Establishing authority in voice is essential for marketing to a healthcare audience.
When speaking to a healthcare industry audience, building trust and credibility with the audience is critical to success. The voice should be accurate, authoritative, and evidence-based, with a clear and confident tone. Patient care is sensitive and critical, and that sensitivity demands respectful attention to detail. The most successful companies will build a strong case for their value and build strong connections to engage their audience.
Looking for an accurate diagnosis of your brand’s voice? We’re just what the doctor ordered. We’ve worked with giants in the healthcare and technology spaces. Our process identifies the unique challenges of each company and works to leap the hurdles—giving you the boost you need. Contact us today.