But the challenges and limitations of VR are important to identify. Like other technologies, VR has general challenges – an important one being the effects on face-to-face communications and the medical relationship between the physician and patient. The risks of inaccuracy are higher, as evaluations made in real settings ensure precision and effectiveness. Furthermore, cost limitations, changes in users’ attitude, and a lack of clinicians’ knowledge and awareness about this technology are huge factors in VR’s progression in medicine.
Tech evolving from the gaming sector has huge potential to recast surgical training and procedures, but being still in its infancy, there is a lot to consider. As a designer, I’m excited by the opportunities to elevate human potential in breaking new healthcare frontiers. If the fast-paced progression in the technology we’ve seen so far is anything to go by, it will be curious to see how this can be accelerated further.
It’s impossible to say exactly what the future will look like as there are so many potential tangents along the way, but hopefully we’ll see designers collaborate with medical institutions, surgeons, patients and gaming experts to create ground-breaking devices and procedures for the medical world.
Eugene Canavan is medical design director at Design Partners, part of PA Consulting.
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