Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Directory

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Why XR is a natural fit for Health and Telemedicine

With the global telemedicine market expected to reach $30.12 billion by 2026 and Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare expected to reach a market value of $3.8 billion by 2020, it is an area that we need to monitor closely.

Telemedicine allows patients to access medical expertise quickly, efficiently and without travel.  Telemedicine can also be of great use to big pharma who cannot access patients with enough frequency to monitor drug efficacy. This is a game changer for the healthcare industry and with growing Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, XR technology is perfectly poised to integrate.

XR technology in the health / telemedicine sector is not new. In 1990, early experiments of virtual reality and gaming for patients was done by Dr. David Warner, a medical neuroscientist from Loma Linda University.  Warner gained international recognition for pioneering new methods of physiologically based human-computer interaction incorporating VR and gaming with paraplegic and quadriplegic patients allowing them to interact with computers for the first time using BioMuse ( EMG sensors that detected eye/facial muscle movement to drive a cursor and jaw clenching to be the mouse click.  Warner’s research efforts focused on advanced instrumentation and new methods of analysis which can be applied to evaluating various aspects of human function as it relates to human-computer interaction. This effort was to identify methods and techniques which optimize information flow between humans and computers.

Movies such as Ironman, Robocop and others over the last few decades have depicted the future of human machine interaction and telemedicine. One person behind some of that future fantasy AR interface design and interaction is Ian Dawson who is the COO at MotusXR,, our company specializing in real time biometrics using XR. Utilizing wearables, the MotusXR platform can remotely monitor patients at home. Imagine Mrs. Jones at home putting on a wearable and the doctor or pharma company being able to receive her biometric data in real time represented by an avatar via augmented or virtual reality.

For pharmaceutical companies this is a major breakthrough as more patients would be able to participate in clinical trials via XR telemedicine. As of now, patients in clinical trials have to travel with caregivers to centers of excellence and that travel time is a huge burden on the patient and caregiver.

With the patient can be at home and an avatar of the patient can be on the clinician’s desk.

As far as hardware – HTC has announced the formation of a new business unit, VIVE Enterprise Solutions, to deliver a full portfolio of extended reality (XR) solutions for business. I could see how telemedicine could play a big role in HTC’s strategy with VIVE Sync, which allows up to 30 people worldwide to interact in a virtual meeting space.

One last thought – robotic surgery via XR telemedicine . This is of special interest to me. Imagine a surgeon operating robotic arms via VR. These robotic arms can perform more precise and delicate movements human hands cannot replicate. Imagine performing an operation in India when you are in VR in the USA. We can open up Western medicine to the rest of the world – this is the future…..

About Blog Writer :

Louisa Spring

Founder of SAM immersive

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