AR and VR in Health Tech

Understanding the difference between AR and VR

As technology continues to evolve, the clinicians’ skill set will need to continue to keep up with the health tech evolution. Understand augmented reality (AR) — that it is a blend of virtual reality (VR) and real life. AR users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world and to distinguish between the two. A new term Mixed Reality is a hybrid reality that merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments /visualizations where physical/digital objects co-exist then interact in real time.

Application in healthcare ecosystems

VR/AR can introduce a new dimension to healthcare starting with the building blocks of general anatomy as well as phobias, pharmacy, and integrated care. In a general anatomy course, dissection is part of the transition to the next course. The option of AR textbooks gives the science student a different set of tools to render their knowledge base.

VR is being used in the study of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and patients with phobias to mentally transport them to another space. A Swedish pharmacy company Apotek Hjärtat has created a VR app “Happy Place” to distract patients for the use of pain control. VR is being used to promote wellness and well-being in young adults with cancer at USC to “heal the whole person”.

AR and VR are bringing a breath of fresh air to the healthcare industry both from a patients and practitioners point of view. Stay tuned for more exciting developments.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Research, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Further references can be found on my professional websites and