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Keeping it real

Virtual and augmented realities are helping to shape the future possibilities for healthcare

Panning for ‘digital gold’  At Ashfield Healthcare Communications, we are constantly looking at ways to leverage new technologies to provide better solutions for physicians and their patients. In a world of technology that is changing at an ever-accelerating pace, constant horizon  scanning is vital. When we assess something ‘new’, one of the key questions we ask is, is it just a ‘fad’ or ‘gimmick’? We are currently assessing a set of key technologies that look set to come of age and be of major relevance to the healthcare industry, namely virtual and augmented realities (VR/AR). In this article, we want to briefly explore how VR/AR has evolved and imagine the future possibilities for healthcare.

Back in the day… The first wave of VR emerged in the 1980s from a pioneering company called VPL Research Inc. By immersing the user in a
virtual 3D world, it helped give birth to new ideas and advanced the concept of remote surgery. Although highly innovative, the products failed to become mainstream due to high costs, low-resolution graphics and overall bulkiness. In short, the supporting technology was not yet sophisticated enough to make fully immersive experiences widely available.

The resurgence of VR/AR Fast-forward to today and technology is catching up. Driven by relatively low costs and computing muscle only dreamt of when VPL Research started out (smart  phones, simple headsets [Google Cardboard] and more sophisticated kit [HTC Vive or Oculus Rift]). The challenge now is, how can we generate truly meaningful experiences via VR/AR and not introduce the technology just for the sake of it?

If you’d like to know more about keeping it real Click here to read the full article

This article was published by
Ashfield Healthcare Communications, part of UDG Healthcare plc. 

20th July 2017



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