Why VR is a Learning Machine in Healthcare: Report

Posted by Todd Maddox & Tim Fitzpatrick on Jun 2, 2020 1:13:58 AM


Many people view "learning" only in the contexts of education and training applications. This report focuses on the use of virtual reality to enhance learning across healthcare. We begin with a rigorous definition of the term “learning” and show that learning is broadly applicable in healthcare, going well beyond just education and training. Next, the neurobiology of learning is reviewed. Finally, three use cases in healthcare learning are outlined. In each case, we take a storytelling approach by introducing the reader to a hypothetical individual with a problem for which virtual reality can be of service. Finally, we end with closing remarks and areas for further discussion.

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Topics: Communication, Learning, Neuroscience, Addiction, Rehabilitation, Empathy, Education, Virtual reality, Wellness, Resilience

Why VR is a Learning Machine: Addiction and Rehabilitation

Posted by Todd Maddox & Tim Fitzpatrick on May 21, 2020 9:05:45 PM

Meet Bill.

Bill is a 60-year-old former construction worker and Desert Storm veteran. He has been divorced for 20 years and has two grown children. He has struggled with alcohol addiction for nearly 40 years and it has affected his personal and professional life. Bill is estranged from his ex-wife and children, has difficulty with personal relationships and has been unable to find work for the past 5 years, in large part due to the negative impact of his addiction on his treatment of fellow employees. Bill is losing faith in himself, the healthcare system, and has contemplated suicide more than once.

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Topics: Learning, Addiction, Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Virtual reality

VR for Mental Health, Wellness and Resilience

Posted by Todd Maddox & Tim Fitzpatrick on Dec 21, 2019 9:14:55 PM
Using Virtual Reality To Support Mental Health, Wellness and Resilience
Meet Jose

Jose is a forty-three year old military veteran who has had ongoing issues with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, social isolation, and addiction since leaving the service nearly two years ago. He struggles with anxiety in social settings, and sometimes finds it difficult to leave the house. He currently sees a therapist once a week. He likes his therapist, and always feels much better following a therapy session, but he frequently struggles between sessions. He wishes there was a way to find additional relief when he feels the need and without having to leave his home— a program that would allow him to reduce his anxiety and relieve his stress would be ideal. He has tried audio tapes and meditation on his own but neither has proven to be very engaging and he still struggles to remain focused.

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Topics: Uncertainty, Anxiety, Addiction, Mental Health, Pain Management, Therapeutics

The Promise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Part Five

Posted by Todd Maddox & Tim Fitzpatrick on Nov 28, 2019 9:20:11 AM
VR Applications For Pain Management

Pain presents itself in various forms, some of which you might already be familiar with. And while there are several classifications and levels of intensity, separating pain by duration leads us to two types: acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is often managed with mild numbing agents, aspirin, ibuprofen, or as you likely have experienced, we simply “grin and bear it”. Chronic pain, which usually lasts longer than six months, is dealt with pharmacologically, and often with opiates.

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Topics: Addiction, Pain Management, Therapeutics

The Promise of Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Part Four

Posted by Todd Maddox & Tim Fitzpatrick on Nov 8, 2019 10:13:11 AM
Virtual Reality Applications in Mental Health, Therapy, and Addiction

Mental health issues are a serious problem in the United States.  Over $200 billion in lost earnings per year are due to mental illness, with depression as the leading cause of disability in the U.S. among those ages 15 – 44. Depression is one of the top 3 workplace issues, along with family crisis and generalized stress. These problems are intensified in our many military veterans. Twenty-two military veterans lose their lives to suicide every day, and the rate of PTSD is 15 times higher among veterans than civilians. Most importantly, and tragically, the overwhelming majority of civilians and military veterans do not receive the treatment and therapy that they need.

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Topics: Addiction, Rehabilitation, Mental Health

Ready for what's next?

Now you will be.

At the end of the day, your healthcare journey begins and ends with you. Using virtual reality to improve education and training in healthcare has limitless potential to impact the lives of everyone you meet along the way.

Remember, evidence shows VR:

  • Improves satisfaction
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Improves learning
  • Improves retention
  • Increases actionable empathy
  • Outperforms classroom-based learning
  • Is the medium preferred by learners

The benefits of VR have never been more accessible.

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