In short: VRHealth has announced a collaboration with Oculus to improve the overall healthcare experience for patients, including helping patients to better deal with pain management and the more general levels of anxiety that can be experienced either before, during or after surgery and other similar procedures.
Background: VRHealth, a company who specializes in healthcare-related virtual reality (VR) technology has confirmed it's using Oculus hardware including Go and Rift headsets along with its own software solutions to offer newer wellbeing options that the company believes could prove to be extremely beneficial to patients. This belief in the process is not just based on theoretical assertions either with the company confirming its solutions are “already seeing early success” in a number of hospitals and medical facilities in the US. Therefore, this announcement is more of an example of VRHealth's existing software solutions being made available on the Oculus Go and Rift for greater user access, both in a hospital setting and at home. The timing of this announcement is designed to chime with the recent VR announcements that have come through from Oculus this week, including the launch of a new $399 headset.
Impact: This is not the first time VR had been linked with patient wellbeing as plenty of studies and trials have shown the ability to transport patients to other visual locations can have a positive effect. An aspect which is also in use with VRHealth’s solution as a means to provide patient distraction during what might otherwise be an uncomfortable experience, such as during chemotherapy or childbirth. However, the difference here is the VRHealth implementation is more of a professional-grade approach that encompasses much more than just a view of the beach or a tranquil forest. Instead, the company’s solutions are also able to track and monitor data obtained from the headsets which can then be used by healthcare professionals to further help design and implement additional treatments. Aspects which are made possible through the use of a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-computing algorithms, with results capable of being relayed to healthcare professionals, as well as providers and the patients in real-time.