Many people think virtual reality (VR) is just about strapping on a high-tech headset and playing a game purely for entertainment.
Those who are more in tune with recent advancements might have heard about how brands are starting to find success with VR marketing, or how VR can be used to make an impact with client presentations.
However, VR is making a huge impact in the health sector, too, especially in the following five ways.
1. To Help People Deal With Debilitating Addictions
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate 3.3 million people die from alcohol misuse each year.
Furthermore, there are at least 15.3 million individuals with drug use disorders. The road to recovery from a substance abuse addiction can be a rocky one, and that’s in part because so many factors can trigger people to use again.
However, some researchers are investigating ways to use VR to help affected individuals learn how to deal with the temptation to use when it arises.
A company called Limbix, which develops VR technologies for the mental health sector, is spearheading the effort.
Health practitioners know a wide variety of factors can encourage recovering addicts to use again.
Sometimes they want to do so after seeing particular people associated with their pasts, and the time of day can also stimulate usage. However, the VR technology takes those variations into account and even works on mobile devices, making this treatment option quite portable.
2. To Make Physical Rehabilitation More Pleasant and Worthwhile
Although it’s often necessary for regaining function, the physical rehabilitation process can be grueling. Patients frequently associate it with intense pain, frustration and confusion while they wonder if they’re doing the exercises correctly.
However, the VR Health Group, which has offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and Boston, Massachusetts, hopes to change that with a growing assortment of VR programs used for rehabilitation purposes. Some of them are for people with spine issues, while others target the entire upper body.
Offerings in the VRPhysio line urge patients to get engaged in fun games that require performing therapeutic movements. They also get real-time feedback.
On the care provider’s side of things, it’s possible to make assessments about a patient’s baseline range of motion, as well as his or her ongoing progress.
There are also plans for the existing software to eventually track the effectiveness of at-home exercises and give statistics to therapists.
By Kayla Matthews | Inc.
Image Credit: Getty Images