Healthcare is one of the most receptive industries to new technologies. In their continuous search for better treatments, vaccines and cures for serious illnesses, researchers and doctors need all the help they need from science and technology. The first applications of virtual and augmented reality apps were in medical schools and training facilities for healthcare professionals.
However, patients can also benefit from these technologies, especially when it comes to dealing with pain. An immersive and interactive environment is a welcome distraction for patients battling various mental illnesses, as well.
A Holistic Approach: VR and AR Apps and Experiences Help Patients and Doctors
The scope of new virtual and augmented reality apps and experiences is to change the concept of the treatment process, to create bonds between doctor and patient and facilitate communication and trust.
The following examples of VR and AR apps and experiences in use at various hospitals and treatment facilities show how healthcare has changed and progressed thanks to new technologies:
Kimo by Oncomfort – Pain Relief VR App for Children with Cancer
Dealing with cancer is a terrible experience for anyone – the more so for children. Unable to understand what happened to them, why their bodies behave in such a painful manner, children are among the most vulnerable cancer patients.
A company specializing in VR app development for healthcare is now making the little patients’ lives during chemo treatment better. Kimo is a specialized app which offers children a much needed distraction and form of escapism during chemotherapy sessions. Featuring bright colors and educational games, Kimo was proven to reduce anxiety by 65% in trial sessions and is available in multiple languages.
The app can be tailored to be used by children from various ages, as well as by their family members who attend the treatment sessions.
Kapanu – Try On Your Best Smile
Augmented reality healthcare apps and experiences do not deal only with advanced clinical issues. Dentists have come to rely on this technology to show their patients what they can expect from whitening and tooth alignment procedures, as well as the application of veneers.
Kapanu allows patients to choose from various possible teeth treatments, until they identify the ideal result – the perfect smile they want to have.
The app works with a detachable scanner which creates a faithful holographic reproduction of the patient’s mouth. This will help patients understand what types of procedures would work for their jaw structure much better than the dentist’s explanation why they cannot reproduce a movie star’s smile.
See Kapanu in action:
Brain Power- Helping Children with Autism Connect to the World
Brain Power develops a range of augmented reality healthcare apps aimed at helping children with various socializing and learning impediments find ways to be understood and engage in educational activities.
The apps work with Google Glass and featured various gamified and motivational activities – such as guessing a person’s emotional state and maintaining eye contact during conversations. The app has an advanced user-centric design and uses artificial intelligence and big data to add to the pool of information on autism and develop new immersive and interactive experiences.
Stanford Virtual Heart – Effective Way to Learn about Heart Defects
Stanford Medicine and Lighthouse Inc. worked in close partnership to develop an innovative virtual reality experience which helps medical trainees and families of patients with heart conditions learn about complex congenital heart defects.
Stanford Virtual Heart consists of a highly detailed 3D model of the human heart and uses 360-degree graphics to simulate various congenital heart conditions and various ailments of this vital organ.
Saagara – Better Life and Mental Health through Augmented Reality
Saagara is a company that developed a full range of augmented reality healthcare apps for wellbeing, mental and physical health. The apps cover:
- Stress relief
- Breathing lessons
- Weight loss
- Improved sleeping
Using holographic designs and an immersive, interactive environment, the apps encourage patients to perform various exercises (yoga moves, deep breathing, etc.). These apps are aimed directly at patients as an adjuvant to their course of treatment.