Chapter 11. The Virtual and Augmented Reality Health Technology Ecosystem

This chapter covers issues related to design of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences deployed in a health-care context, and provides a tutorial for using motion data from controllers to reduce the visible tremor of a Parkinson’s patient in a virtual environment. At current, the global health-care outlook is defined by an ever-growing set of policies, public-health measures, delivery methods, community-based clinical research, therapies, and technological innovations. No single technology is addressing all of the problems of health care alone, and now from deep learning applied to protein folding to precision health to population health, there are many different approaches being taken to solve difficult health challenges.

In health care, everything from the sophisticated (i.e., fMRI) to the simple (i.e., the efficient scheduling of appointments) all have a role to play in the delivery of care. VR and AR technology are relatively new and aren’t yet considered a convention, let alone standard of care, within any domain of health. Problem spaces include pain reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment with exposure therapy, and amblyopia treatment. These spaces have proven ripe for VR as a therapy delivery technology, while surgical training and planning has found use cases for AR. To avoid systemic bias and facilitate more of a worldview of the subject of how ...

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