What does virtual reality mean for the healthcare industry?

large_B-jx7GaO8eF7mhVO3AH5J1REn0Awb717y1uKooXapZ4Consider the following scenario: A woman in a remote rural area of a developing country is due to give birth in a few days. She has no access to a healthcare provider—but thanks to the proliferation of mobile phone technology, she nabs a virtual reality (VR) app and a homemade version of Google’s Cardboard (a boxlike viewer that wraps around a smartphone). There, in a rural village, her birth team is immersed in a 3D lesson in delivery and in preventing infections.

That scenario could be a true reality, not just a virtual one, thanks to the efforts of companies such as zSpace Inc., Jaunt, Inc. and CAE Healthcare. Making VR headsets to support the technology are companies like Oculus (bought by Facebook last year for $2bn), Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and HTC. The market for VR healthcare could reach $2.43bn by 2018, according to research firm Global Industry Analysts.

While VR is not new to medicine, its affordability is: Medical headsets have traditionally cost from $30,000 to ten times that much. Oculus, which will be available to consumers in 2016, is already available to developers for between $350 and $400.

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About Peter Coffaro 1149 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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