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The applications of virtual reality in the field of science

We introduce the common types of VR simulators and their operational principles in aforementioned fields. The clinical effects are also discussed.

In almost every study that dealt with VR simulators, researchers have arrived at the same conclusion that both doctors and patients could benefit from this novel technology. Moreover, advantages and disadvantages of the utilization of VR technology in each field were discussed, and the future research directions were proposed.

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The use of the HMD helmet allows users to perceive a 3D stereoscopic images and to determine the spatial position in the visual environment via motion tracking sensors in the helmet.

Meanwhile, users can hear sounds from headphones and interact with virtual objects using input devices like joysticks, wands, and data gloves. As a result, users feel as though they can look around and move through the simulated environment [ 2 ]. Researchers and doctors have explored the effects of VR simulation on physical rehabilitation, pain management, surgery training, anatomical education and treatment of psychiatric disorders [ 13 - 7 ]. Compared with traditional methods, VR technology is regarded as a cost-effective and efficient tool in the aforementioned areas.

  1. Sensor technology advancements in positioning and navigation systems originally designed to function with the global positioning system have been extended to include satellite-free indoor navigation, tracking user position via their mobile device by leveraging software and hardware such as Project Tango and ARCore Google or ARKit Apple.
  2. VR simulators for psychological disorders focus on the emotion control and feedback.
  3. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the application of VR technology in clinical medicine.
  4. In these circumstances, VR training has become an essential prerequisite for junior doctors before they are allowed to actively participate in real operations. Virtual Reality technology is currently used in a broad range of applications.

Although VR devices have similar structure, the discrepancies in hardware and software requirements often arise due to different application fields. In addition, different researchers emphasize different models of research utilization.

For example, VR simulators for education focus on the 3D environment and network resources [ 8 ].

Emerging Applications of Virtual Reality in Cardiovascular Medicine

VR simulators for surgical training focus on the interaction with operation devices and virtual anatomical structure [ 910 ]. VR simulators for psychological disorders focus on the emotion control and feedback. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the application of VR technology in clinical medicine.

The three approaches addressed in this paper have been research hotspots for over two decades, and thus far they have been subject of many studies. By summarizing the current research results, we analyze the advantages of VR technology for each field, and make predictions for future utilizations. VR technology for surgery training For decades, the acquisition of technical skills in the operating room under the supervision of senior surgeons has been the only way for junior doctors to receive the applications of virtual reality in the field of science training [ 11 ].

As the number of trainees has increased, the opportunities to acquire necessary technical skills have become increasingly limited due to the higher costs, ethical concerns, and decreasing resident work hours.

Furthermore, as the surgical techniques have advanced and evolved, sole observation was no longer enough for acquiring certain skills and special techniques.

In these circumstances, VR training has become an essential prerequisite for junior doctors before they are allowed to actively participate in real operations. Compared with animal modes, videos and e-learning, VR simulations are more realistic due to very intuitive anatomic structures exhibited in the 3D graphics Table 1. Trainees can interact with all the anatomical structures, including skin, muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessel. Changes that occur following each surgical step are very much the same as in reality.

Whole performance can be recorded, compared and analyzed, making data permanently available for trainees [ 11 ]. From different perspective, senior supervision and patient participation are no longer needed during the period of basic skill training and acquisition, since the VR simulations can provide a controlled virtual environment necessary to satisfy these requirements outside the operating room [ 6 ].

The training effect of VR simulations are generally evaluated by standard parameters, including time necessary to complete task, path length, number of collisions, injuries, number of anatomic landmarks identified, number of loose bodies found, satisfaction and so on. Table 1 Application of VR simulators for different surgeries Surgery.