Emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare

June 29th 2024
Ciklum Editorial Team
The Ciklum Editorial Team consists of experienced software engineers, Marketing Managers, and communication professionals from around the world. They create, review, give their expert opinion and share their insights on technology, industry trends, and around experience engineering.
Emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) in healthcare


According to World Health Organization (WHO), Medication errors alone cost an estimated US$ 42 billion annually. Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients resulting in 1 million deaths during or immediately after surgery annually.   

Also, WHO is urging countries and global partners to take immediate action to diminish patient harm within healthcare settings. Ensuring patient safety and improving the quality of care are imperative for providing efficient health services and attaining universal health coverage.

However, emerging technologies like Extended Reality (XR), including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), are offering promising solutions to address these challenges.

In this article we will explore the potential of VR in revolutionizing healthcare, from addressing current issues to envisioning future possibilities.

Let’s delve deeper into the tangible influence of VR on healthcare and explore the advantages of it in the healthcare sector.

Medical Training and Education

The healthcare industry, recognizing the increasing population and the demand for highly skilled medical professionals, is strategically harnessing Virtual Reality (VR) technology in education. As a significant investor in VR-based learning, the healthcare sector is leveraging this technology to address these demographic shifts and skill requirements.

1_Medical Training and Education Use Cases of VR for Medical Education

Anatomy Education

VR platforms can simulate medical imaging environments such as MRI, CT, or ultrasound scans. Students can learn to interpret and diagnose conditions based on virtual imaging studies, enhancing their diagnostic skills in a hands-on, immersive setting.

Medical Imaging Detection

VR enables medical students to explore the human body in three dimensions, providing a deeper understanding of anatomy compared to traditional methods like textbooks or cadaver dissection. Students can dissect virtual bodies, manipulate organs, and visualize complex structures from any angle, improving spatial understanding and retention.

Emergency Medicine Training

VR simulations can replicate emergency situations such as cardiac arrest, trauma, or mass casualty incidents. Medical students and emergency responders can practice decision-making, teamwork, and critical interventions in high-stress scenarios, improving their readiness to handle real emergencies.

Practicing Surgical Practice in VR

VR-based surgical training presents a groundbreaking advancement in medical practice and education, offering immense benefits for both medical professionals and patients. With precise instructions, particularly in spine surgeries where it has demonstrated remarkable success in reducing invasiveness.

By projecting virtual representations of the organs onto the patient’s body, It enable surgeons to visualize the anatomical structures and pinpoint problem areas without the need for extensive incisions. This innovative approach streamlines surgical procedures, enhancing precision and minimizing patient discomfort.

2_Practicing Surgical Practice in VR Use Cases of VR for Surgical Practice

Preoperative Planning

Surgeons can use VR to visualize patient anatomy in three dimensions, allowing for more accurate preoperative planning. By exploring virtual reconstructions of the surgical site, surgeons can anticipate challenges, develop surgical approaches, and optimize the placement of instruments and implants.

Remote Assistance and Telemedicine

VR enables remote surgical consultations and assistance, allowing experienced surgeons to guide less-experienced colleagues through complex procedures in real-time. Remote assistance via VR can facilitate collaboration between surgeons located in different geographic locations, expand access to specialized care, and improve surgical outcomes for patients in underserved areas.

Medical Professional Development

VR-based surgical training modules can be used for ongoing professional development and skills maintenance. Surgeons can engage in simulated surgeries to refine their techniques, learn new procedures, and stay updated on advancements in surgical technology and best practices.

Pain Management & Therapy

VR has become a valuable tool in pain management, providing relief to patients undergoing painful procedures by offering immersive experiences in calming virtual environments. Additionally, FDA-approved headset solutions incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to assist patients in relaxation and pain control. Moreover, VR therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in treating various conditions such as phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders, showcasing promising outcomes.

3_Pain Management & Therapy Use Cases of VR for Pain Management & Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

VR technology can integrate principles of cognitive behavioral therapy to address chronic pain conditions. Patients can participate in virtual therapy sessions led by a virtual therapist, learning coping skills, challenging negative thought patterns, and modifying behaviors that contribute to pain perception.

Interactive Therapy

VR platforms can offer interactive experiences designed to facilitate pain management techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness meditation. Patients can engage with virtual scenarios that encourage relaxation and focus, empowering them to cope with pain more effectively.

Physical Rehabilitation

VR-based rehabilitation programs can help patients undergoing physical therapy to manage pain associated with musculoskeletal injuries or neurological conditions. By engaging in virtual exercises and activities, patients can improve mobility, strength, and function while minimizing discomfort.

Future of VR in Healthcare

Enhanced Remote Appointments

Imagine having a virtual reality (VR) consultation with your doctor instead of a traditional phone or video call. VR can provide a more immersive experience, allowing both you and your doctor to feel like you’re in the same room. This could be particularly useful for routine check-ups or discussing minor health concerns.

Virtual Hospitals in the Metaverse

In the future, we might see virtual hospitals within the metaverse, accessible through VR headsets. These virtual clinics could be especially beneficial for mental health treatment and physiotherapy, offering convenient access to healthcare services, particularly in areas with a shortage of medical professionals or in rural regions.

Personalized Digital Twins

Digital twin technology, which creates virtual replicas of real-world objects, including the human body, holds immense potential for personalized healthcare. With your own digital twin, healthcare providers could accurately predict how you might respond to treatments or recover from illnesses. This technology could revolutionize treatment planning by enabling highly personalized and predictive care.

Immersive Therapy

VR is increasingly being used as a tool in mental health treatment, particularly in exposure therapy for conditions like PTSD and anxiety disorders. Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) creates controlled environments where patients can confront their triggers safely, leading to reduced symptoms and improved mental well-being. This approach offers a promising avenue for expanding access to effective mental health care.


The rapid development of immersive technologies gives us a glimpse into the future of healthcare delivery. From virtual reality consultations to digital twins, virtual hospitals, an immersive therapy, such innovations can change patient care with dramatic improvements. 

At Ciklum, we are committed to leading new advances in healthcare through our specialized Experience in Engineering approach. We imbue Experience Engineering capabilities into our healthcare services, and realize the potential of VR in every aspect of our soluton. Team up with Ciklum to start your journey into the future of healthcare innovation and be a leader in Experience Engineering. Learn from us how to experience possibilities when you power a healthy tomorrow



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