The health care industry has been a big adopter of virtual reality tech, with some institutions using the computer-generated images for diagnosis and treatment. Virtual reality simulations, such as those created by software companies Surgical Theater and Conquer Mobile, use actual diagnostic images from CAT scans or ultrasounds to construct 3D models of a patient’s anatomy. The virtual models help both new and experienced surgeons determine the safest and most efficient way to locate tumors, place surgical incisions or practice difficult procedures ahead of time.
Beyond surgery, virtual reality could also serve as a cost-effective and engaging tool for rehabilitation. Stroke and brain injury victims across Europe can now use an immersive virtual reality therapy created by MindMazeto to regain motor and cognitive function faster than with traditional physical therapy, according to the company. The virtual exercises and real-time feedback in MindMaze are made to feel like games, helping to motivate patients to practice everyday activities.