(The Medical Futurist)

VR is conquering new heights in terms of healthcare and sales figures

Medical/Therapeutic VR is an area with fascinating possibilities. It has not just moved the imagination of science-fiction fans, but also clinical researchers and real life medical practitioners. As a doctor, you could assist in the OR without ever lifting a scalpel. If you are a medical student, you could study the human body more closely and prepare better for real life surgeries.

Although VR has promised to become “the next big thing” on the market for decades in vain, statistics show that the time has come now for the technology. Various market research companies estimate that the VR hardware and software market could be worth around $30 billion by 2020. The sales of VR headsets are projected to skyrocket in the next few years: 500 million could be sold by 2025. Currently, there are 685 virtual reality start-ups with an average valuation of $4.5 million, according to start-up tracking site AngelList; and their number will grow further. This all means that both the demand and the supply side – starting from the cheap Google Cardboard to the expensive Oculus Rift – is growing. So, I thought it is time to enlist the most important VR companies in healthcare. Challenge accepted!

ImmersiveTouch for more precise operations

Being a surgeon requires immense amount of knowledge, constant preparation and practice, as the smallest failure could cost a patient’s life. However, up until now it was uneasy for doctors and med students to practice their profession before surgeries. ImmersiveTouch aims to become a game-changer in this respect. It offers a VR imaging platform that allows surgeons to see, feel and experience minimally invasive surgical pathways to improve surgical precision and patient outcomes.

When a surgeon prepares for a complex brain surgery, the MRI/CT scans of the patient can be uploaded into ImmersiveTouch’s cloud, then reconstructed into 3D VR. Then, the surgeon can rehearse or teach various surgeries, and “get in touch with the patient”, since the platform replicates the surgical touch and feel of the patient’s anatomy. Simply mind-blowing!

Dwight Mann