VR in Education and Healthcare

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment. These special equipments include headsets that can take the input of the user to interact with the environment. These simulations vary from interactive games, to teaching assignments, to even architectural design. Virtual reality can create experiences that mimic our everyday lives or experiences to improve our lives. VR (Virtual Reality) is a benefit to our everyday lives as it allows for us to go beyond our physical limitations in our present environment. Two key areas that I want to focus on is the improvement to education and health care, and the benefit they receive in visualization, practice, and cost.

One of the main focuses of VR is the visualization of a 3D environment. Let’s say we are in a college class that is discussing human anatomy, but we do not have a human body to observe. The benefit of VR is that it allows the student to view a 3D representation of a human body and it’s parts. This would allow the students to view and manipulate the body part to get a better understanding it. This could range from being able to view the body part up close, see a full 360 view of the object, see the scale of the body part in relation to the rest of the body or even to see how the body part behaves inside of a human body. Compared to images and textbooks, this is a huge leap forward.These benefits are important for a student as it allows them to get a realistic experience of how the body operates. The visualization for teaching is important as it allows an immersive hands on experience.

The visualization experience can also improve health care as it can provide better simulations.. VR allows medical professionals to practice surgeries and procedures ranging from dentistry, amputations, and even nursing. VR helps the healthcare industry as it provides simulations that mirror real world events.The simulations are not limited to doctors and nurses, as they can also help a patient understand how medicine or treatment will affect their body. This can be a visual guide to help explain their injury and their treatment. An important benefit of visualization with healthcare is the impact it has on treating phobias. With VR, a user can be put in an environment that replicates a phobia to ease or cure a certain phobia. Also, visualization is not limited to one user it also has the ability to share experiences or simulations, which allows users to experience events together.

The low cost of various VR equipment broadens the accessibility of learning tools and topics. VR equipment can be cheaper than books as they are able to discuss all topics while book are designed for one specific. VR headsets are more cost efficient as they are easier to update with more information and usually do not have to be replaced as often as books. The cost advantage of VR is further emphasized when training professional on real world applications. One experience could teach kids how to properly build a birdhouse without having to buy the wood for each student. Another experience could teach a student how to prepare food without buying all the ingredients for each student. VR has a tremendous benefit to the amount of users that can be affected by one experience.

While the lower cost and superior visualization abilities are huge benefits for VR, the main benefit that a user is able to receive hands on practice that simulates a real life experience. These simulations are important as they are easily accessible and affordable. VR allows for an environment that not only gives visual cues but audio cues so that a user can receive a more authentic experience. Users are allowed to share their experiences through VR and which allows for r faster information gathering and learning experiences.

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Written by
Brandon Greene 06 Jul 2017

3D and Unity specialist.

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