Virtual Reality (VR) and radiology application is not a new concept.
We’ve toyed with the idea since the 1980s but new technologies have made leaps and bounds to making this tech more and more viable, as well as more compact and user-friendly.
This ITN article talks about the advances in smartphone technology have led to advances in VR and its mobility.
Processing power in mobile phones has been a drawback in the past, but a radiologist from Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, Greece utilized a VR system. They spoke of the VR’s efficiency, saying that “[O]nce the files are downloaded it takes less than a minute to wear the VR device and start viewing CT images.”
Of course, downloading images depends more on your internet speeds than the actual processor itself, so this technology is here and can be very beneficial for imaging departments around the globe.
This article from RSNA News goes into more detail about Dr. Moustakas’ experience with VR software. He talks about how easy the software is to use and the advantages of using it remotely especially for emergency rooms and other times when radiologists are away from their workstations.
It also discusses the two double-blind reports that were using standardized to assess image quality of the VR system against a normal hospital’s workstation and the results were very encouraging, showing 97 percent of the studies were completely in agreement.
The Wall Street Journal focuses more on the financial aspect of VR usage in the imaging field as well as how it can better suit education/medical school needs.
In regards to the financial aspect of VR, the Journal discusses the reimbursement facet and how a case can be made that it will further benefit patient care and make it easier to get reimbursed. In terms of medical training, the cost of cadavers could be dramatically decreased and have immediate feedback on a virtual body.
Diagnostic Imaging discusses interactive virtual reality (IVR) as a means of improving interoperability and resolving a communication issue that would allow surgeons to “speak intelligently with surgeons” and give a representation of the anatomical world of a surgeon.
It also discusses that IVR is true innovation and that with its help, interoperability can finally reach its potential.
This article takes the VR technology to another level outside of just viewing images in a virtual space, but instead an entire surgical room in VR where students (or anyone) can take part in a procedure from start to finish.
This has fascinating and revolutionary implications, while this article talks about how it would most likely be used for small procedures like biopsies, the future possibilities are endless.
This article was written by Mike Schwartz, a technical writer with Novarad.