Four Ways AR/VR are Reshaping Healthcare
Updated: Jul 14
Credit: DCStudio / freepik
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are not just for gaming and marketing anymore. AR/VR are breaking new ground in the healthcare industry. According to HealthTech Magazine, by the end of 2026, AR/VR in healthcare is expected to grow into a +$2 billion industry.
echo3D has been supporting developers and companies creating AR/VR applications for healthcare by providing them with a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR content management and distribution. These AR/VR innovations benefit both patients and medical practitioners in many way, four of which we wanted to highlight below:
Click this link https://go.echo3d.co/EufA or scan this QR code to see a skull in AR
1. Facilitation of Surgery
AR plays a significant role in the surgical process. Medical practitioners use AR as walk-throughs and checklists prior to real surgeries. These procedures increase the accuracy and success rates of surgeries because surgeons prepare for different possible outcomes and scenarios. VR enhances the precision of surgeries through a connection to a medical robot. It’s possible that remote controlled robots may replace surgeons entirely to proceed with intricate, complex, and difficult surgeries. In “A Review of Augmented Reality in Robotic-Assisted Surgery” from Johns Hopkins University, they explore the benefits and usage of robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) and AR. This lowers the possibility and rate for human error during procedures.
2. Therapy for Patients
AR/VR is being used in psychological therapy and treatment because of its effectiveness. The impact of AR/VR technology ranges from recovery after physical surgeries to treatment for mental illnesses. This therapy serves as one of the five types of psychotherapy. In the case of arachnophobia (fear of spiders), AR/VR therapy exposes patients to spiders without eliciting the fear response. This helps patients change their conditioned response associated with spiders.
Using the Hololens AR headset for example, patients are exposed to smaller, less overwhelming spiders. Then patients are encouraged to stretch their arms and reach for those spiders. Throughout the therapy, the spiders gradually become more realistic in their visuals and sizes and patients engage with them until they no longer exhibit a strong fear response.
3. Education and Training
Proper and sufficient training for future medical professionals is a necessary element for the healthcare industry. VR headsets provide interactive, hands-on simulations for medical students and residents. AR increases surgical success rates due to prior walk-throughs, but VR goes beyond assisting individual surgeries, one by one. In fact, VR attempts to solve the root problem of the lack of medical training. Numerous simulations for studying human anatomy lead to a positive long-term effect of the overall improvement of the healthcare field. Studies have shown that applying VR and AR to training has increased reliability and accuracy with procedures and diagnoses.
4. Diagnosis & Treatment of Diseases/Illnesses
Even from remote locations, AR/VR allows medical professionals to connect with patients using telehealth and AR scans or VR headsets. AR/VR technologies solve the geological barriers for the treatment of patients. On-screen emotional communication facilitates psychotherapy. According to the App Solutions, American Antarctic Research Stations utilize AR/VR as a tool to establish one-on-one relationships between doctors and patients for treatment. Doctors are also able to use these emerging technologies to diagnose external symptoms like whether or not patients have concussions.
AR/VR is a rapidly developing industry. echo3D is dedicated to assisting developers in this field by providing 3D-ready tools and cloud infrastructure, necessary for building 3D/AR/VR apps at scale. With a high amount of attention directed towards this innovative field, the impact of 3D/AR/VR will continue to alter its shape of form for future decades.
To learn more about AR/VR use cases:
echo3D (www.echo3D.co; Techstars 19’) is a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR that provides tools and network infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps, games, and content.