The Importance Of Virtual Reality In The Medical World

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Rapid change in most segments of the

society is occurring as a result of

increasingly more sophisticated,

affordable and ubiquitous computing

power. One clear example of this

change process is the internet, which

provides interactive and instantaneous

access to information that must

scarcely conceivable only a few years


Same is the case in the medical

field. Advancement in instrumentation,

visualisation and monitoring have

enabled continual growth in the

medical field. The information

revolution has enabled fundamental

changes in this field. Of the many

disciplines arising from this new

information era, virtual reality holds the

greatest promise. The term virtual

reality was coined by Jaron Lanier,
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user interacts with the virtual world using

one hand for navigation and control and

other hand to touch and feel the virtual

object. A semitransparent mirror creates an

interface where graphic and haptics are

collocated. The result is the user can see

and feel the object in same place. Among

the medical procedures that can be

simulated are catheter insertion, needle

injection, suturing and surgical operations.



A recent report released by

Institute of Medicine in Washington DC,

estimates that medical errors may cause

1,00,000 patient deaths each year in US.

Advantages of VR in surgery are:

• Intelligent computer backup minimizes

the number of medical ‘mistakes’.

• More effective use of minimal-access

surgical technique, which reduces the

long length of hospital stays and rest of

postoperative complications.

• Better training in anatomy and surgical

skill, with reduced need for cadavers.


1. Daniel Sorid & Samuel K. Moore “The

Virtual Surgeon”,IEEE Spectrum

2. Paul J Gorman, MD; Andreas H Meler,

MD; Thomas M Krummel, MD,

“Simulation and Virtual Reality
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