A report from Healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information estimates that the market for virtual reality (VR) in healthcare in the USA has grown from $525 million (USD) in 2012 to an estimated $976 million in 2017, with scores of applications for VR being made available.
The growth in the use of VR and augmented reality (AR) technology in healthcare is something that VRFocus have covered extensively. The report notes that the predominant markets for VR and AR in healthcare are surgery, medical education, professional training in healthcare, physical rehabilitation, pain management, and behavioural therapy. The report went on to identify three specific use cases where VR and AR technology had been successfully applied.
In surgery, the report mentions that VR technology has been used in robot-assisted orthopaedic surgery, with a system called Stryker Mako highlighting bone sections that needs to be removed or shaved away. A 3D model of the patient serves as an interactive template, updated in real time as the procedure continues. In pain management, the report notes how several studies have found that patient distraction can be effective for pain management, and the immersiveness of VR can distract attention away from painful procedures such as wound cleaning. Another sector spoken on in the report was medical education, where it is noted that several companies offer headset-based VR and AR training products that cover a variety of medical procedures.
“The term ‘virtual reality’ is used in different contexts,” says Kalorama’s analyst Emil Salazar, the author of the firm’s report. “Broadly, virtual reality is the means or capability to visualize and manipulate, or otherwise interact with, digital data representative of a real-world entity or environment. These digital data representatives are called virtual environments or VEs. VEs in healthcare would be an operating room, surgical site, patient anatomy, or therapeutic simulation.”
VRFocus will continue to bring you news of market research in VR and AR.