Any of us with young people in our lives likely have heard the stories of Virtual reality (VR) games immersing players in a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Virtual reality (VR) is the use of video and audio to immerse a user in the experience of an artificial environment, often in 3D and often with 360 degrees of vision. VR creates a fully rendered digital environment that replaces the user’s real-world environment. Galactic battles, time travel, underwater exploration, building civilizations………..the gaming possibilities are limitless.
The same VR that began for gaming and entertainment is also being leveraged as immersive learning to revolutionize how we train for high-risk jobs in fields such as military, safety and healthcare - - and how we most effectively prepare doctors, nurses and first responders with the critical skills necessary for complicated and dangerous procedures in a more immersive, hands-on and realistic training environment before they actually engage with real patients in need of medical care.
According to research from Goldman Sachs, by 2025 the market size for VR and augmented reality software alone may reach $35 billion, including more than $5 billion devoted just to health care. In the life sciences and health care fields, the market for virtual patient simulations is expected to grow almost 20 percent a year to become a billion-and-a-half-dollar industry by 2025.
The guest in this episode, Dr Brennan Spiegel, MD, is a world renowned expert in how using digital technologies such as VR can transform healthcare. He is the director of Cedars-Sinai Health Services Research. He directs the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE), a multidisciplinary team that investigates how digital health technologies — including wearable biosensors, smartphone applications, virtual reality and social media — can strengthen the patient-doctor bond, improve outcomes and save money. CS-CORE unites clinicians, computer scientists, engineers, statisticians and health services researchers to invent, test and implement digital innovations, always focusing on the value of technology to patients and their providers. Spiegel has published numerous best-selling medical textbooks, editorials and more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is listed in the Onalytica "Top 100 Influencer" lists for digital health (No. 13) and virtual reality (No. 14). His digital health research has been featured by major media outlets, including NBC News, PBS, Forbes, Bloomberg, NPR and Reuters. Beyond his focus on digital health innovations, Spiegel conducts psychometric, health-economic, epidemiologic and qualitative research across a wide range of healthcare topics. As a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Field Advisory Committee, Spiegel also develops endpoints for clinical trials. His research team receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hearst Foundation, Veterans Administration and industry sources. Spiegel is editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, the leading clinical gastroenterology journal in North America. He continues to practice clinical medicine and maintains a busy academic teaching practice at Cedars-Sinai. A prolific speaker, Spiegel is frequently invited to present on his areas of expertise at national and international events.
Dr. Spiegel has spent years studying the medical power of the mind, and in his new book, VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine, he reveals how simple virtual reality headsets can offer us a new way to heal by tricking the body into thinking it’s somewhere that it isn’t, or can do something that it can’t usually do.