Virtual Reality in Healthcare

A Look at Growth Opportunities, Leading Vendors and Market Dynamics as Healthcare Braces for the Fourth Digital Wave
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Published: 18 Sep 2018

This report looks broadly at the role of reality technologies in healthcare, investigating the landscape for established and emerging products and vendors; top growth opportunities for major healthcare use cases; and the potential adoption trajectory and competitive dynamics impacting the market. Virtual reality refers to an interactive, immersive, computer-generated experience that takes place within a simulated environment. Virtual reality is an umbrella term for immersive technologies that include augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and immersive reality (IR), an artificial environment that mimics the real world. We can refer to these collectively as reality technologies or we can use the term “virtual reality” to encompass all the technologies. Reality technologies are on the cusp of disrupting the human-machine interface, giving rise to an entirely new computing experience. The coming VR wave will be felt across every industry including healthcare where these technologies could experience significant growth across a wide range of use cases. Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality tools can increase the accuracy of diagnoses as well as provide operational and cost efficiencies for healthcare providers with capacity and resource limitations. Key market drivers for augmented and virtual reality in healthcare include the need to find new and improved methods of efficiently training clinicians and other healthcare professionals across institutional and geographic boundaries as well as a growing body of proof that virtual reality is an effective and highly cost-efficient. Virtual reality in healthcare can be seen as a continuation of the broader digitization of healthcare that has been disrupting the market for the past decade. The buzz around the use of VR for healthcare continues to grow louder. Clinical and therapeutic healthcare use cases for reality technologies are growing and new vendors continue to enter the market, with many focusing on designated therapeutic areas. Despite proof of efficacy, clinical VR will likely remain a slow market to evolve due to regulatory and logistic barriers. Getting the healthcare VR adoption needle to move will be a slow process, but it will happen. The next five years will see a considerable uptick in the percent of clinicians that will be willing to experiment with VR applications. To successfully benefit from these new technologies, healthcare organizations and providers must clearly understand how new VR tech fits in with the regulatory and reimbursement environment they live in—how it supports broader clinical programs and organizational goals and where the long-term value and ROI lie.



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