Virtual reality for healthcare training

Published on November 24th, 2018 by Debi Christensen

Virtual reality for healthcare training is an up-and-coming field. It promises change how the medical profession learns patient care.

In 2016, the AR/VR healthcare market size stood at approximately $569 million in the US alone. Medical professional are discovering multiple uses for virtual reality training, and the benefits will impact medical practices.

Practice medical techniques without endangering lives

Medical professional seek to improve the health of their patients without putting them in harm’s way. Medical mistakes are not only costly, but they also can have grave results.

Doctors and nurses have long relied on surgery simulators, beginning with cadavers and plastic dummies. Now virtual reality trainings are augmenting those basic simulations with more advanced touchscreen technology. Free apps like Operate Now and Surgery Squad provide medical professional training and patient education.

Virtual-reality-for-healthcare-training surgery

Virtual reality training gives healthcare providers the practice they need before working with patients. Not only are virtual reality simulations highly effective training methods; they are also cost-effective.

Reduction in healthcare training costs

It’s no secret that quality healthcare can be expensive. Some of the hidden costs include training for the nurses and doctors providing patient care. They must stay on top of new and innovative healthcare solutions.

Virtual reality training is one of the ways to minimize the impact of those costs. It eliminates the need for travel to other locations. By engaging in VR training, healthcare professionals lose less time away from work and their families. In turn, they may experience an improved work-life balance. Additionally, virtual reality allows for repeated training. Users can re-enter a scenario and practice skills as many times as needed.

Benefits of virtual reality for healthcare training

Healthcare professionals are discovering the advantages of using virtual reality for healthcare training.

  • Operating medical devices. The healthcare profession relies on a variety of instruments to gather medical data regarding patients. Some tools, like thermometers, are simple to operate, but others, such as high-tech surgical instruments, require skill to use. Patients are hesitant to undergo an invasive procedure with a surgeon who has limited experience with the equipment needed for surgery. On the other hand, virtual reality training provides that experience.
  • Team collaboration. The coordination of healthcare services is critical to patient diagnosis, intervention, and recovery. Team-oriented simulations in virtual reality help users understand diverse points of view in patient treatment. Virtual reality cases bring medical professionals together, where they can practice shared decision-making.
  • Data gathering and diagnosis. Virtual reality training now includes working with avatars and holograms in ways that make learning about patients and medical practice more transparent.

Virtual-reality-for-healthcare-training surgery-medical-equipment

The future of virtual reality for healthcare training

According to London’s Barts Medical School Associate Dean Dr. Shafi Ahmed, virtual reality training is useful because it is both visual and immersive. VR Training provides medical professionals with the simulated experiences they need. As a result, the future looks promising for virtual reality training in healthcare.

However, Dr. Ahmed cautions, “Content has to be compelling. It has to be validated and reliable, which needs to be shown in trials and projects to make the whole virtual reality kind of pathway more helpful to people.” It’s the software and not the hardware that provides the most enriching simulations.


The advances in VR healthcare software solutions make the adoption of virtual reality for healthcare training imminent.