Immersive Studio UK

Immersive Healthcare – The Future of Patient Experience

Immersive Healthcare

The healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation, as new technologies enable more personalized, efficient, and engaging care. One of the most promising and innovative trends is immersive healthcare, which integrates digital environments, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), along with other sensory technologies to create immersive and interactive therapeutic experiences that are both deeply engaging and highly effective for patients, providers, and educators. Learn more about our immersive healthcare services.

Immersive Technologies in Healthcare

The significance of patient experience within modern healthcare settings cannot be overstated. As we venture deeper into the 21st century, the focus has dramatically shifted from mere clinical results to encompass overall well-being—a holistic view embracing emotional, cognitive, and physical health. In this light, immersive healthcare stands out as a beacon of progress. It offers patients not just treatments, but journeys tailored to their individual needs and preferences. From battling mental health challenges with VR encounters that transport individuals to serenity-inducing landscapes, to enhancing physical rehabilitation through gamified therapy sessions encouraging movement without pain or providing a calming or engaging space where long treatments like chemotherapy can be administered—these innovations represent more than technological triumphs; they embody a profound understanding of care being an art as much as it is a science.

In this article, we will take a look at how immersive technologies are enhancing various aspects of the patient journey.

Training and Education

Let’s talk about how immersive technologies can provide realistic and immersive simulations for medical students, professionals, and patients, allowing them to develop and practice skills, procedures, and scenarios in a safe and controlled environment that would otherwise be difficult or too dangerous to practice in real life. Technologies like VR, realistic simulations, and virtual machines that can be controlled by the user can be used to train surgeons, nurses, paramedics and students on complex and rare cases or new equipment, while AR can overlay real life environments with digital information by not using a HMD (head mounted display) but by using touch surfaces or AR glasses, such as images or step-by-step instructions, such as onto the surgeon’s field of view during an operation. Immersive technologies can also be used to educate patients on their conditions, treatments, and prevention strategies, increasing their engagement and adherence which we refer to below.

Training and Education

Treatment and Therapy

In the realm of healthcare, therapeutic treatments are extremely vital and becoming increasingly popular.   Treatment clinics can use VR in the form of VR headsets of XR into form of interactive screens, touch surfaces or projection mapping to provide individually tailored environments or experiences to help treat phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction, by exposing patients to controlled and gradual stimuli.

To give you an example, VR can be used to create virtual reality therapy (VRT). In VRT, patients are placed in a controlled, virtual environment that closely replicates the situations they find challenging or stressful. The immersive nature of VR allows for a realistic experience to be manually created based around specific trigger points and conditions, enabling patients to confront and work through their fears in a safe and supportive setting. The therapist can monitor the patient’s reactions and guide them through the process, providing interventions as needed.

Moreover, immersive room technologies like sensory spaces can provide gamified and fun experiences that can cater specifically to the individual’s needs – be it for students with autism spectrum disorders requiring minimal sensory overload or individuals with ADHD needing high engagement levels or people going through treatment which may last for hours at a time.

Enhancing Patient Experience

It’s no longer news that immersive technologies are revolutionizing patient care in today’s healthcare landscape. Immersive Studio understands how these cutting edge technologies can be used but also how to make the content that can help hospitals and clinics harness these advancements for rehabilitation programs, pre-operative guidance, hospital walkthroughs, and after-care advice through using these technologies.

Enhancing Patient Experience - Immersive Healthcare

But the technology is not the most important part, how you create the content that you use to communicate via is equally as important.  Creating Immersive environments have emerged as a transformative tool by creating soothing environments, and calming and engaging scenes that can help distract patients from pain, anxiety, stress, depression, and other issues. Therapy and treatment centers can create soothing and relaxing environments for example using projection mapping technology to project lifelike images and scenarios onto room walls, ceilings, or even floors to transform clinical spaces, into serene landscapes that invite calmness or interactive scenes promoting physical engagement, such as waiting areas and therapy room promoting a much deeper level of connection with the treatments on offer.

Moreover, immersive tech has become pivotal in physical rehabilitation settings as well; showcasing its versatility beyond cognitive and developmental disabilities alone. A notable example is the KeepStep project, designed for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This project uses individualized, projection-mapping-based exergames for gait rehabilitation.

The KeepStep exergames are inspired by regular physiotherapy exercises and are displayed on the floor using projection mapping. This approach provides a stable environment and ensures practical exercise training, allowing for a more engaging and less restrictive form of therapy, encouraging patients to participate actively in their recovery process. The individualized adaptive training provided by KeepStep has been described as beneficial and appreciated by MS patients, as it accommodates user diversity and promotes functional mobility, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of life.

Improved Communication and Empathy

Virtual Reality (VR) is not just a technological innovation; it’s a medium that bridges the emotional and experiential gaps between patients and healthcare providers. Through immersive stories and scenarios doctors are able to step into the shoes of patients, fostering a deeper understanding of their perspectives, feelings, and needs. This empathetic approach can significantly improve patient satisfaction and trust in their medical teams.

Improved Communication and Empathy - Immersive Healthcare

For instance, you can simulate the challenges faced by patients with specific conditions, allowing providers to experience the limitations and struggles their patients endure daily. This immersive insight helps build empathy, which is crucial for compassionate care and helps medical professionals to design better treatments.  Breakthroughs also with conditions like Alzheimer’s means that the condition can be explored and scenarios created where the patients can receive custom made treatments which may help them cope with the disease.

Accessibility and Cost Reduction

With the help of immersive technologies, healthcare can become more accessible and affordable, by reducing the need for physical infrastructure, equipment, personnel, and travel, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of care.

For example, for a patient that suffers with severe anxiety and would struggle to visit a hospital, a VR headset could be used in the home environment by a therapist reducing the need for a hospital visit.  Alternatively gamified rehabilitation treatments could be accessed via a weblink that patients could access at home rather than attending a hospital or treatment Centre and having a member of staff taking them through the treatments.  Immersive technologies can provide lower-cost and high-quality interventions to reach more people and overcome stigma and barriers like societal misconceptions and personal apprehensions associated with traditional therapy which currently seems to be a global problem of reaching the growing population of people who need the help.

How Immersive Studio Can Help

At Immersive Studio, we are passionate about creating immersive and innovative solutions for the healthcare industry, using our expertise and experience in AR, VR, and MR and content creation. We can help you design, develop, and deploy immersive healthcare applications that can help you explore your treatment ideas, enhance your patient experience, improve your outcomes, and reduce your costs.

Some of the immersive healthcare solutions that we can offer are:

Therapeutic Virtual Experiences

Our services are equipped to develop sophisticated virtual environments that can be tailored to help your patients cope with pain, stress, depression, and other health issues, by providing them with soothing, relaxing, and enjoyable experiences. One example of this is creating immersive rooms that can project various scenes, sounds, and sensations, such as nature, music, and aromatherapy, which can reduce pain perception and improve mood. For reference, the JAMA Network Open Study has confirmed that Virtual Reality can help decrease pain and anxiety during intravenous catheter placement.

SEND Therapy Treatments

We can help you create tailored virtual experiences, which can help your patients with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), such as autism, dyslexia, and cerebral palsy, by providing them with stimulating, supportive, and adaptive experiences. Creating immersive learning environments can help patients with autism improve their social and communication skills by providing them with interactive and realistic scenarios, which can help to teach them how to recognize and express emotions, and how to respond to social cues. Moreover, we can also create immersive therapy environments that can help your patients with dyslexia improve their reading and writing skills by providing them with immersive and multisensory stimuli, which can enhance their phonological awareness, memory, and attention.

Interactive Walls

Our interactive walls can transform hospital entrances, treatment rooms and training environments into dynamic portals, welcoming patients and medical staff with a digital interface that provides personalized navigation and detailed information about treatments and therapies. These intuitive systems facilitate patient flow, offer educational content through various media, and encourage exploration with features like virtual tours, all aimed at empowering patients with knowledge and confidence as they navigate their healthcare journey by creating a flexible multi purpose tool that can benefit medical professionals and patients as well.

Advance Walkthroughs of Procedures

With the help of immersive technologies, we can create informative virtual experiences, which can educate your patients on their conditions, treatments, and prevention strategies. To give you an example, we can create virtual walkthroughs of procedures that can show your patients what to expect before, during, and after their surgeries, tests, and therapies, using realistic and immersive visuals, sounds, and sensations, which can reduce their anxiety and increase their confidence.

Conclusion

Immersive healthcare will be one of the major sectors who will explore and innovate more rapidly by using the immersive technologies especially as AI and creative technology improves as it provides the perfect medium to explore and build complicated tools and treatments that help to make healthcare better whilst also imporoving the future of patient experience, as it can provide more personalized, efficient, and engaging care, using AR, VR, and XR technologies. It can enhance all aspects of the healthcare journey, such as training and education, treatment and therapy, remote patient care and monitoring, improved communication and empathy, as well as accessibility and cost reduction.

At Immersive Studio we can help you create immersive and innovative solutions for the healthcare industry, using our expertise and experience in AR, VR, and MR across many unique industries. We can help you design, develop, and deploy immersive healthcare applications that can enhance your patient experience, improve your outcomes, and reduce your costs.

If you are interested in learning more about immersive healthcare and how Immersive Studio can help you, please contact us today. We would love to hear from you and discuss your needs and goals.

What are you waiting for? Join the immersive healthcare revolution and transform your patient experience today!