Virtual Reality Innovations in 2019

Virtual Reality Innovations in 2019Some trends come and go — and some stick around indefinitely.

Virtual reality within the healthcare space is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Over 240 hospitals in the U.S. are using virtual reality to assist various health-related procedures, and support patients in helping understand their treatment options. The virtual reality market in healthcare is projected to reach $6.9 Billion by 2026.

Understanding the Role of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

The terms ‘augmented reality’ and ‘virtual reality’ are sometimes confused.

According to Healthcare Weekly, Virtual reality creates an immersive experience by providing the user with images of 3D-environments. “As part of this virtual experience, the user can sometimes change or alter the appearance of the environment. As for augmented reality, this simply adds graphics or sound to a real-life environment and augmented reality glasses are then used to bring the experience to life.”

Here are some of the most common methods in which virtual reality is used in healthcare:

  • Smart Tech Glasses – Smart glasses may appear as regular glasses, but they display information which can enable a physician to add pertinent data to the patient’s EHR. There are also prototype models which would allow the glasses to use similar features as a Head-Mounted Display.
  • Head-Mounted Display – This is likely the most recognizable example; oversized, bulky goggles with earphones attached. The engineering of this device offers a true surround-sound and visual experience.
  • Desktop Virtual Reality – This application is typically used for training purposes. A desktop virtual reality technology is an efficient way to simulate complex programs and procedures.
  • Haptic Gloves and Treadmills – Users can manipulate and move inside of the virtual reality encounter, as well as move objects with ultra smart gloves. 

Virtual Reality Examples in Healthcare

Relaxing Patients in the Hospital: Resting in a hospital, confined to a sterile-smelling environment, away from family — can be nothing short of mind-numbing. Counting down the days to discharge is a favorite pastime of patients.

Patients, particularly children, are worried about their condition, and missing their loved ones. However, there are companies such as VisitU who provide patients with a downloadable app and virtual glasses, enabling them to get in touch with their loved ones around the clock. Medical-based virtual reality is a simple way for friends and family to foster relationships with someone who has been admitted to the hospital, cutting down on stressful travel time to / from the hospital.

Observing Operations: Typically in teaching hospitals, only a select amount of medical students may attend or observe an operation. Virtual reality has the ability to bring the studying and learning experience in medicine to a deeper level by offering surgeons the opportunity to stream cases globally using a virtual reality camera. And now, medical students can now use virtual reality goggles, “step” into the operating room, and witness details of the surgery. Real-time access can be given to all interested parties who choose to participate in the operation.

Rehabilitation: Virtual reality is synonymous with entertainment since it can offer thrilling experiences. This exciting tool also has a role in healthcare.

Researchers found that people are more likely to stick to a rehab program if they have access to virtual reality. Physical therapy is much more fun and appealing in a virtual world. Understandably, oftentimes patients do not want to go into a clinic for treatment. With virtual reality, they can benefit from treatment in the luxury of their own home.

This is Only the Beginning

Virtual reality, while impressive and futuristic in nature, is still in its infancy. It can be difficult to fathom how this technology isn’t just a buzzword.

But the truth is that, despite the hype and hashtag trends, virtual reality technology is truly enhancing and improving patients’ lives from across the globe. We’re only just getting started on truly experiencing its full capabilities.

To learn more about trending gadgets and artificial intelligence technologies in 2019, check out our blog post.

How Major Health Systems are Mastering Patient Experience

HOW MAJOR HEALTH SYSTEMS ARE MASTERING PATIENT EXPERIENCEHow consumers shop in 2019 has fundamentally altered how healthcare is provided, including stepping up the patient experience. They expect to experience top notch service in a brick and mortar retail store, and they expect the same “5-star” service inside the walls of a hospital or medical office.

Prominent healthcare systems are leading the way in this effort. Here are the top four predictions on what we can expect to see over the next year when it comes to the patient experience.

  1. Streamlining with Technology

Leading hospitals will utilize technology to produce more cost-effective programs, such as an EMR-integrated customer relationship management (CRM) platform where insights are assembled and saved for future reference. This data will include documentation from patients’ previous visits, to predictors of potential future health concerns.

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Improving the Patient Experience

improving-patient-experience

Healthcare of yesterday included going to the nearest facility, trusting your care provider without question, and following the protocol/advice that was given.

Healthcare of today includes going to a provider who has the best reputation on HealthGrades.com, and on your neighborhood’s Facebook community page, doing your own research in advance of an appointment as well as following the appointment, and seeing what other alternative approaches are available in addition to the advice that was given by the provider.

Our healthcare landscape has become more and more competitive, since patients and their loved ones are no longer riding shotgun, but rather are now sitting in the driver’s seat…steering their own healthcare experience.

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The Future of Telehealth

Future of Telehealth

Over the past year, we have witnessed several advances in the realm of telemedicine. From adjustments in the state / federal policies and reimbursements to providers implementing telehealth in their practices to the actual definition of telehealth changing.

The intersection of consumer purchasing transactions has evolved across multiple areas in our lives — how products are acquired, how we communicate with each other, and how we foster connections — the weaving of the tangible and digital is here to stay.

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Telehealth in Healthcare

TelehealthTelehealth has been defined as the delivery and facilitation of health and health-related services including medical care, provider and patient education, health information services, self-care via telecommunications and digital communication technologies.

Technology that is utilized to store, share, or synthesize health data can be referred to as “health information technology” or healthIT. This wide classification includes practice management systems to online patient portals. Telehealth technology includes both software and hardware.

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Big Data in Healthcare: Changes and Challenges

Big Data in Healthcare: Changes and ChallengesOver the next several years, Big Data is estimated to increase faster in healthcare than in other sectors, such as manufacturing, financial services or media. The Healthcare sector’s need to manage patient care and innovate medicines simultaneously pushes for newer technologies to be adopted in the industry. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report, this puts healthcare organizations in a challenging position to manage exceptionally large data assets.

It is projected that healthcare data will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36% through 2025.

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The Impact of Big Data in Healthcare

Blockchain in healthcare

There have been tremendous advances in the quantity of data we regularly generate and collect in all areas of our lives, as well as applications to ascertain and analyze it. This crossroads is referred to as “Big Data” and it is aiding companies in a wide range of industries to become more effective and streamlined.

Healthcare is no exception.

Big Data in healthcare helps to foresee outbreaks, find cures for diseases, enhance quality of life, and escape avoidable deaths. These patient benefits are in addition to improving earnings and reducing unnecessary operating costs.

The collective goal of caretakers is to understand the entire patient, and flagging signs of serious illness early in life so treatment is more effective and less expensive in the long run. With our global population growing and people living longer than ever before, treatment delivery is quickly evolving, and data is driving the direction of these decisions.

Here is a look into how Big Data is playing a significant role within healthcare.

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Implementing Blockchain in Healthcare

implementing-blockchain-in-healthcareBlockchain is a tool that allows the trafficking of data and services and ensures financial exchanges happen within a secure setting. Because of this high level of security and variability, it provides valuable opportunities within healthcare. Here are some examples of how blockchain can be integrated.

Data Security within Clinical Trials

The blockchain technology allows users to prove the authenticity of any document registered in the system. Because blockchain records immutable data, it allows for the storage of clinical trials’ results in a protected fashion, literally making data unable to be modified and ensuring its efficacy.

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What is Blockchain?

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is currently one of the most pivotal and disruptive in the world. Multiple industries are implementing the blockchain technology to innovate the way they function, including the healthcare industry.

Blockchain is decentralized digital accounting that keeps a permanent, unalterable record of transactions between users. In short, a blockchain is a time-stamped series of fixed record of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

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Digital Health Market Outlook — 2019 and Beyond

Digital Health Market Outlook — 2019 and BeyondIn our current healthcare climate, a patient can book an appointment with a physician, inquire about medical guidance, access medical records, and have a prescription filled…but never actually leave their front step. If that isn’t incredible enough — robots perform surgeries and 3D printers can print human organs; the healthcare industry transforms year after year, opening the door and earning a front row seat in the development of digital health.

Let’s explore primary drivers that are responsible for moving digital health along within the medical market.

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