When it comes to life and death doctors, nurses and scientists are waging a constant battle in order to get any possible edge that might tip the balance. Whether it is identification of an illness or condition, new ways to circumvent the pain being felt by others, the design of new treatment regimens to aid in the recovery from injury or surgery. The development of new tools in order to make surgery easier, to allow collaboration between practitioners or new ways to treat or rehabilitate patients.
It is telling of how immersive technologies open the door to new possibilities that all of the above have featured at some point on VRFocus throughout the last couple of years. You can check out an array of in depth items on the subject through the ‘Your Virtual Health’ features category on the website or by clicking the ‘Health’ tag above.
The latest news about how virtual reality (VR) is being considered as a tool for healthcare professionals comes as researchers at the University of Newcastle – in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and not the UK – working in partnership with the Hunter Medical Research Institute revealed that they had developed a virtual platform that would be able to store 3D copies and representations of cancerous tissues found in humans. Providing a unique way for people to study the disease and potentially opening up a new way to visualise treatments.
“It currently takes many months before researchers are able to obtain tissue samples from a physical biobank and carry out investigations with it.” The University of Newcastle’s Dr. Jamie Flynn, who worked on the new platform, explained in conversation with explained to Xinhua. “Once a researcher has performed their study, that sample typically cannot be reused.” The digitisation of the sample means that a usable record remains intact (something the team noted would be a significant step for rarer variations of cancer) and be readily available to anyone who needs to see it. Or indeed anyone that requires studying it – and that’s where the next step for the project lies according to another collaborator on the project, Dr. William Palmer.
“We’d also like to convert the 3D data into virtual reality for education and general awareness. Hopefully soon, anyone with a smartphone and Google Cardboard could experience the internal environment of cancer tissue and bring about new insights.”
VRFocus will bring you more information on this and other developments with immersive technologies in the healthcare/MedTech spaces as we get them.