This is THE decade of Extended Reality (XR), and our attendance at the Virtual Reality & Healthcare Global Symposium really confirmed that feeling! Virtual reality (VR) is no longer fringe or a nice to have. It’s getting baked into the way we train, learn and experience things, and is especially powerful within healthcare institutions, nursing, and medical schools.
The conference is in its fourth year and does a terrific job bringing together the right mix of speakers from the education, healthcare, and technology fields. XR provides solutions in ways other technologies cannot, particularly with simulation training in the medical field. This is evidenced by the number of companies building solutions for healthcare, many of which were showcased at the conference, along with the engaged teachers and practitioners in attendance at the event.
A few sessions and developments that resonated with us include:
- Dr. Walter Greenleaf, Conference Co-Chair and Behavioral Neuroscientist at Stanford, gave an incredibly inspiring talk on the paradigm shift around VR and healthcare. He believes VR will be a part of the fabric of the way things will get done.
- Senior Multimedia Developer and UX/UI Designer Greg Dorsainville from NYU spoke about this engagement during his session.
- Dr. Brennan Spiegel from Cedars-Sinai spoke about how XR is being used right at the cutting edge of real-world applications in healthcare.
- XR is being used in pain management and rehabilitation therapies to treat depression and PTSD. There’s a huge amount of research to point to the efficacy of these types of therapies. The idea is that eventually, doctors will prescribe VR therapy like they prescribe medications.
- VR can be used to treat obesity. VR can play incredible tricks on the emotional experience for positive outcomes — for clinical, training, and learning. You’re able to do things in VR and XR that you simply cannot do in the real world, which opens the door to extraordinary opportunities.
Our “Enhancing Healthcare Learning and Training with HoloLens 2” session was well-attended at the conference. The presentation featured an overview of the industry by our CEO David King Lassman, and was followed by a quick on-stage demo of our HoloPatient and HoloHuman applications led by our VP of Client Experience, Linda Bush.
Immediate interest followed at the GIGXR booth, where attendees received hands-on experience by demoing our applications with the Microsoft HoloLens 2. HoloLens 2 and our flagship apps. We were overwhelmed with the positive discussions and interest from healthcare training experts and industry leaders about the relative merits of VR and XR. The majority of people we spoke with agreed that XR (via HoloLens 2) most effectively facilitates the collaboration and team interactions so crucial to small group simulation learning experiences.
The conference was truly a pleasant surprise to us in the wealth of collegial interactions, opportunities for academic and commercial collaborations, and potential development partnerships. It reinforced our notion that the market is wide open for virtual realities in healthcare, and that the market is looking to embrace XR as the next step. There was also a strong feeling of industry support as key players are eager to learn about each other and have lively discussions about their respective products.
We ended this week fortunate to attend a similar event as well in London. The Future of Immersive Technology in Health and Social Care Education was a Thought Leadership Day, where we showcased GIGXR’s capabilities. The day was filled with presentations on the latest in immersion technologies, like XR and VR, and what their applications are in healthcare and social care.
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