VR is conquering new heigths in terms of healthcare and sales figures
Medical VR is an area with fascinating possibilities. It has not just moved the imagination of science-fiction fans, but also clinical researchers and real life medical practitioners. As a doctor, you could assist in the OR without ever lifting a scalpel. If you are a medical student, you could study the human body more closely and prepare better for real life surgeries. As a patient, you could escape the confinement of your hospital room and travel to Iceland. Even better, your pain and your stress might feel like they evaporated through the VR experience. As a patient with mental health problems, you could fight your possible fear of heights, schizophrenia or paranoia more successfully. VR seems to conquer healthcare gradually. And not only that.
Although VR has promised to become “the next big thing” on the market for decades in vain, statistics show that the time has come now for the technology. Various market research companies estimate that the VR hardware and software market could be worth around $30 billion by 2020. The sales of VR headsets are projected to skyrocket in the next few years: 500 million could be sold by 2025. Currently, there are 685 virtual reality start-ups with an average valuation of $4.5 million, according to start-up tracking site AngelList; and their number will grow further. This all means that both the demand and the supply side – starting from the cheap Google Cardboard to the expensive Oculus Rift – is growing. So, I thought it is time to enlist the most important VR companies in healthcare. Challenge accepted!
By Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD | Medical Futurist
Image Credit: Surgical Theater