4 Pragmatic Ways Immersive Healthcare Can Help Alleviate the Corona Virus Outbreak
Dr. Sana Farid discusses how VR/AR can be used against the recent outbreak.
As on 7th February 2020, there have been 31, 535 coronavirus cases registered, out of which a shocking 4826 or 15% belong to a critical condition. The death toll has risen to 638 within a fortnight. Additionally, the novel Coronavirus has spread to at least 27 countries. The coronavirus pandemic is a real cause for concern and has put everybody on high alert.
Several corporations, including LG, Facebook and Razer, are restricting employees’ travel to China, over fears of the Coronavirus. Moreover, employees who returned from China are to work from home strictly.
On a side note, desperate air passengers are spotted wearing plastic bottles and motorbike helmets, in an attempt to stay uninfected. One flight from Shanghai to Perth had numerous passengers wearing face masks. Moreover, the same flight even got a special disinfecting spray down following it’s landing.
While sophisticated technologies can indeed slow and possibly even eradicate the coronavirus’ impact, time is of the essence. Every passing minute could mark more cases and deaths.
Enter: Immersive Healthcare Technologies
Leveraging the power of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to improve the current healthcare scenario is at the core of Immersive Healthcare. This technology has consistently revolutionized conventional healthcare systems, and has the potential to impact the coronavirus outbreak significantly.
Preventive Medicinal Strategies Become Economic & Feasible
Best practices like washing your hands or immunization are amongst preventive healthcare measures that help prevent contracting a particular infection. However, in the absence of mass education and awareness campaigns, the majority of the population remains oblivious to preventive measures.
Cultivating preventive measures by setting up courses and getting healthcare professionals to take up the training is complicated. Conventional training approaches, such as reading manuals or conducting classes, are very expensive and time-consuming
In contrast, immersive technologies help effortlessly train patients and even healthcare professionals in slowing down and preventing deadly outbreaks like the Coronavirus. For instance, specialized AR/VR training designed for pathological scenarios is immensely useful.
VR/AR powered training is easy to deploy as a manual classroom setup isn’t required. Moreover, the training is value-centric and practical, thus enabling students/doctors to immediately apply learnt concepts in the real world.
“Immersive preventive medicine could very well be the trump card in eradicating the Coronavirus, and ensuring such outbreaks are predicted and well dealt with in the future.”
Hospital Construction is Streamlined & Accelerated
Alarming times require drastic efforts, and China swiftly rose to the occasion. The city of Wuhan constructed a makeshift emergency hospital in a meagre 10 days for the coronavirus casualties. The facility can serve up to 1,000 patients at a time.
However, every second saved in construction is an extra second available for treatment and recovery. Fortunately, VR can help initiate hospital development and planning by enabling healthcare providers to walk-through facilities, before even drafting a blueprint. This visualization helps attain a much-needed head start that could prove pivotal for efficient construction and subsequent patients’ onboarding.
“Immersive technologies can immensely fine-tune quick hospital construction, resulting in guaranteed and enhanced care administered to patients.”
As a result, governments can roll out hospitals much faster and save more lives in the process.
Heightened Decisiveness & Geographical Awareness
The deadly Coronavirus is on the verge of being declared a global pandemic. In a crisis like this, immersive maps powered by VR & AR are invaluable, as they enable real-time tracking of the Coronavirus plight.
Researchers and global healthcare strategists can quickly scan the globe and identify “hot” Coronavirus affected areas. Moreover, AI can even aid in the prediction of which regions might get struck by the Coronavirus in the future.
“Just imagine how much more effective a 3D globe with real-time coronavirus statistical updates would be than static excel sheets requiring tons of manual effort. We need futuristic immersive healthcare solutions to tackle the new challenges of today.”
Immersive technologies provide golden nuggets of information, which can significantly improve decisiveness, and help devise effective strategies to control and contain a possible spread of the Coronavirus.
Sharper Diagnosis & Treatment Accuracy
The infamous Coronavirus is alas, a new infection that has taken the world by storm. What’s disheartening is that there is still no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus infection.
The time it takes for a doctor to diagnose and confirm a coronavirus infection is a determining factor in the subsequent treatment. Early diagnosis is vital, and VR powered healthcare setup can exponentially aid in conducting accurate diagnoses.
Companies are able to provide comprehensive visualization tools to aid diagnosis and treatment. As a result, doctors can create virtual models of a patient’s anatomy. Therefore, early detection of the Coronavirus could be made possible.
The intervention of immersive technologies is transforming and will continue to renovate the entire healthcare landscape, only if we spread the word about this revolutionary breakthrough.
In an attempt to evangelize immersive healthcare, organizations like Munfarid Consulting conducted several impact programs in the MENA region, to highlight the essence of VR/AR in the field of medicine.