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Disrupting Clinical Surgery with Virtual Reality

The first recorded surgery dates back to ancient times by Egyptians. Although the techniques and instruments have changed, the foundation still remains the same. From scalpels to electro-surgical units the modern surgery has transformed the healthcare. Many procedures that required patients to stay in the hospital are now completed as outpatient. The surgery recovery time has also been reduced drastically due to the minimal invasive procedures. Modern healthcare surgical procedures may have progressed gradually but with constant development of gaming has aided the development of this sector.

Where it began

Virtual Reality maybe new to many but has been around since the 1800’s in the form of stereoscopic photographs and viewers. The principles still remain the same – by presenting different images to each eye and looking through a stereoscopic view and are used in low budget VR headsets. Viewers get a perception of depth and immersion by viewing two images side by side. The industry was revolutionized after the development of Head Mounted Displays (HMD) because it allowed more flexible system functioning. Advancements in developing virtual reality was strongly influenced in the first fifteen years of the 21st century. And the trending smartphone technology with HD displays and 3D features has made VR affordable and easily accessible. Video gaming industry has perfected these advancements and experts believe the VR use will surge rapidly in the coming years.

Virtual Reality in Surgery

The need of more cost efficient and effective technologies for accurate diagnosis has allowed VR to make its way to the healthcare industry. Surgical procedures are being developed steadily and the major areas benefiting are cardiac, colorectal, general, head and neck and urological. A pilot study was performed by a leading medical equipment company where the surgeon was able to see the patient’s vital signs VR. VR can also be used for simulated training for surgery. It can be used to create artificial environment to train surgeons. VR simulators have added benefits for usability.

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