Virtual Reality in Medicine and Clinical Research

Podcast, Videos


In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I sit down with Ville Leppälä, Vertical Lead, Research and Medical, at Varjo. We discuss the potential applications of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality in medicine and healthcare. We explore a variety of different subjects, including how and why VR/AR/XR has received more attention during the current COVID-19 pandemic, possible roadblocks to implementing these technologies in healthcare, and different use cases in biomedical research, design, engineering, and training.

Here is a short snippet of our discussion:

Q: Can you share some use cases of Varjo’s bionic eye technology?

A: Obviously, reading is one example. So when you read this small print, typically, you need like a sharp display. But it’s not only about reading, thinking of, for example, medical use, you might want to examine really small anatomical structures and small details and if you cannot see the detail, it’s really hard to do any examination or diagnosis. As another example, Boeing is currently using Varjo’s technology to train astronauts in the Starliner space program. This has been basically the only possibility for them to create such training environments where astronauts can see the control panel of the space shuttle.

Q: Can you tell us about the work that you have done and what’s lies in the future, specifically as it relates to the medical field?

A: In the medical space. I think there are a couple of leading use cases. One is related to medical simulation and training, and I think this is probably the quickest growing area right now. This area where medical professionals are trained to different scenarios and procedures. Traditionally, it’s been quite a lot of work with mannequins and dolls, but as you know, they are not that immersive and it’s really difficult to create any special scenarios around them. Now, what’s evolving is that you actually can take this training into virtual or mixed reality and create extremely immersive training scenarios where you can create the interaction and all kinds of variations in the training…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Ville Leppälä, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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