Virtual Reality in the Workplace and in Healthcare
Virtual reality (VR) is a simulation of an environment using sight, sound and sometimes touch. This immersive technology has a number of different applications across industries and even in healthcare.
For example, real estate agents can use VR to show clients homes before making a trip. However, over-reliance on VR can lead to isolation and depression in some people . A number of research studies have looked into this effect.
In the workplace, VR is transforming the training process. VR allows for simulated work experiences and roleplay with virtual avatars, making it easier to get experience without risking the health of employees or the safety of real-life clients. It also reduces the need for in-person meetings, which can be costly and time-consuming to organize.
For example, car manufacturer Ford has been using VR with a software called Gravity Sketch to allow designers to create a 3D car design straight from their imagination. This increased productivity and boosted efficiency, saving the company both money and time.
Other companies are also using VR to train their employees in dangerous situations. This is ideal for jobs such as firefighting, police, or doctors, where it can be difficult to simulate working at heights in a safe way. A VR simulation can be used to recreate the scenario, allowing people to learn how to handle high-stake situations safely before they encounter them in real life.
Educators can use VR to provide students with hands-on experiences that would be too difficult or expensive to replicate in real life. For example, medical students can practice with virtual patients to gain experience without the risk of injury.
Moreover, the technology offers a safe and regulated environment for practical training, so trainees can learn in a controlled setting before working on complex machinery or hazardous materials. Similarly, VR can create realistic situations for people with physical limitations to explore their world more fully. For example, Project Nourished enables users to experience virtual dining by manipulating taste, smell, vision, sound and touch.
Nevertheless, the technology has its drawbacks, such as eye strain and cybersickness. In addition, it requires continued research and responsible implementation. This includes providing educators with training on using VR, addressing concerns about the safety of the technology and ensuring that it is affordable and available to all students.
The entertainment industry, or show business as it is often referred to, represents a large part of the global economy. The sector includes a wide range of media including music, film and TV. It also encompasses theater and live performance. Virtual reality has become a useful tool in the performing arts as it allows people to practice their skills in a safe capacity before putting them on display in front of audiences.
VR can also transform the movie and television industry. The technology can enable viewers to experience a scene from multiple angles and perspectives, similar to a 3D computer simulation. VR could also lead to a virtual tourism industry, where travelers can visit places they would otherwise be unable to see in person.
Out-of-home VR experiences are also gaining popularity. They immerse participants in various adventures. They are usually designed by teams from the gaming, movie, simulation and theme park industries.
In healthcare, VR is used in a variety of ways to improve movement in rehabilitation patients or reduce anxiety for mental health clinics. Medical professionals also use virtual reality simulation training to learn about new procedures and build their knowledge without the risk of making mistakes.
Studies on the implementation of VR in healthcare have identified many barriers. These are often related to organizational factors, such as the lack of time or practical resources, and a lack of support from management or colleagues. On the other hand, some studies have also identified facilitators. These include a clear implementation objective, focusing on behavior change and communicating the added value of VR to healthcare providers and their patients. A focus on behavioral change is a common element in the design of successful implementation interventions and has been shown to increase uptake of other eHealth technologies. Moreover, healthcare providers are more likely to engage with VR when it is personalized and tailored to their patient’s needs and treatment goals.