Facebook’s recent $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR is a sure indicator of the potential for virtual reality technology to benefit other areas outside of gaming.(1) One of those areas is healthcare, where Viscira has certainly recognized the promise of VR capabilities to impact the future of healthcare communication. While many are familiar with the use of virtual reality technology by the gaming industry, most are not as aware of its potential within the medical industry.
Viscira, a leading provider of interactive, new-media communication solutions and software products for the life sciences industry, has been capitalizing on this opportunity by offering VR solutions for its clients that communicate healthcare information in very personal and immersive ways. One recent example was the development of a VR solution for a client using the Oculus Rift to simulate the impact of schizophrenia on a patient. Donning the Oculus Rift goggles, a healthcare professional, caregiver or other user becomes completely immersed in a 3D environment that offers a full visual and auditory experience of what it might be like to be a schizophrenic patient.
The intent with this simulated experience is for the user to develop more empathy for the patient and the various challenges they face. This in turn helps to reinforce the need for active, consistent patient support and ongoing medication adherence, among other patient success factors. It also helps to demonstrate the ability for patients with the disease to still lead active, quality lives with the right plan in place.
Previously, Viscira also developed a virtual reality exhibit called “EyeMac” that enabled physicians to simulate the experience of having neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Physicians used special goggles to immerse themselves in several virtual scenarios from a first-person, patient perspective. Additionally, the module generated data to help physicians better treat this eye disease.
Dave Gulezian, President & CEO of Viscira, commented on the use of VR for developing innovative digital solutions for its clients. “From early in our company’s development, we recognized the potential for VR technology to change the way we communicate healthcare information. Our ongoing focus on utilizing cutting-edge technology, including the Oculus Rift, enables us to continue to provide unique and differentiated products for our industry.”
Viscira’s virtual and augmented reality solutions are just one example of many innovative, interactive software applications and new-media programs the company offers which range from their Prospero™ Online Speaker Portal platform to 3D mechanism-of-action (MOA) animations to interactive visual aids and other iPad applications. Viscira’s strategic approach, combined with its delivery of cutting-edge products, has resulted in an impressive roster of industry-leading clients, including Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, Pfizer, Novartis and Lilly.
1. Facebook, Oculus, and Businesses' Thirst for Virtual Reality. http://www.forbes.com/sites/leoking 3/30/14