How Virtual Reality Can Help Doctors in 3rd World Countires...
In developing countries, the primary issue doctors are facing involves training, and virtual reality (VR) technology can help with this. Studies show good results in a variety of medical issues including mental health and phobias. VR innovations are making training better because there is no risk to the patients, and in third world countries, these technologies are proving to be essential.
Medical Issues in Developing Countries
In the past, infectious diseases caused the most health problems in developing countries; however, they now see an increase in diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and mental illnesses. While there is no immediate solution to all medical problems in these countries, it is critical to consider medical training programs – virtual reality could provide vital and up-to-date training for medical workers.
Although funding for global health research has grown, only a fraction of it is used to fight diseases in developing nations; however, doctors can take advantage of the benefits of virtual reality training as advances in technology reach these countries. Virtual reality can even be used for remote assistance in surgeries. Every day, research centers offer VR innovations to the healthcare market.
• Training future physicians
• Guided surgery
• Treatment of phobias
• Physical therapy
The advantages for developing countries include improving their healthcare systems, especially for those who live in rural areas. Most people in these countries are not able to go to doctors due to distance and costs, so virtual reality could be significant.
• Time and cost-effective training
• Analyze skill without patient injury
• Medical assistance in remote locations
• Comprehensive diagnosis
• Surgical planning
Virtual Reality in the Medical Field
Virtual reality is used for training and practice because it is a rapidly evolving technology which makes training quicker and cheaper. Virtual reality has even made headlines for helping separate conjoined twins and finding weak spots in viruses. It has the ability to take images from a procedure such as MRIs and place a 3-D image in the patient’s body for immediate feedback on diagnosis.
Virtual Reality Uses
• Diagnosis and planning
• Education and training
• Rehabilitation and physical therapy
Studies have shown surgical residents with virtual reality training were about 330% faster in surgical dissections and made 1/6 of the mistakes of those not trained with virtual reality. It can be used in planning and assisting surgeries and developing countries can use it to improve their surgeons’ abilities. It even has the ability to assist in remote robotic surgeries over distances. This can help doctors in poor countries to perform accurate surgery on organs such as the heart or brain by practicing without causing injury to patients.
Advantages of Surgeries
• Anatomy studies
• Pre-planning surgeries
• Virtual reality guided
Advantages of Virtual Reality Assisted Surgeries
• Improved learning curve
• Reductions in errors
• Realistic human bodies
• Visualizes complex anatomic structures
• Increased speed and accuracy
Virtual Reality in Psychiatric Treatment
Virtual reality can also be used to help with mental illnesses as an exposure-based treatment for anxiety disorders and PTSD in veterans. It enables remote mental health visits and substance abuse interventions as well as treatments. This can be a huge help for poor countries in rural areas to still check up on patients with mental illnesses. It has been used to study a wide variety of mental issues already.
• Panic disorder
• Eating disorders
• Anxiety disorders
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)
A report revealed that mental health conditions affect more people than heart disease and cancer at a rate of 1 in 4 people. Most people’s daily activities are affected by these mental disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Alternative treatments such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are effective in overcoming these conditions, and virtual reality is used as a safe environment. It presents an authentic enough world to cause minds and bodies to behave as they would in the real world. Virtual reality is able to isolate anxiety-related stimuli in a controlled and safe environment.
In conclusion, doctors in developing countries would benefit greatly from virtual reality, not just for training and surgery planning; it can also be an effective treatment for mental disorders. Since the main thing doctors in these areas are lacking is sufficient training, virtual reality offers a cost-effective option for both training and education.