A lot of the technological advances that we take for granted today started as science fiction. Think space travel or driverless cars — or virtual reality. In 1935, Stanley G. Weinbaum published a short story, Pygmalion’s Spectacles, about a goggle-based virtual reality system that created holographic experiences including taste, smell and touch. Virtual reality is no longer fantasy, and its arrival in healthcare is already making waves.
By 2020, the global market for virtual reality in the healthcare market could reach $3.8 billion, according to a survey by Global Industry Analysts. Driving that growth are advances in healthcare IT, growing demand for rehabilitation and simulation training and increasing preference for minimally invasive and noninvasive procedures, the group says.
Here are five ways virtual reality is disrupting healthcare today.