Virtual reality (VR) continues to grow in popularity, with a majority of adults saying they are interested in it. By 2020, it’s estimated that 1 billion people will regularly consume virtual and augmented reality content. VR isn’t just for fun and entertainment. In some areas, the healthcare industry is using it to help patients suffering from chronic pain. Some American hospitals are now using it to help patients relax. The VR market is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2025 just in the U.S. healthcare industry alone.
If you’re looking to incorporate VR in your practice, we have creative ideas—and some healthcare giveaways—to support your efforts.
Improve patient experience
- Reduce pain and anxiety: Research has found that VR is an effective tool in reducing anxiety and pain perception associated with things like dressing changes and IV placement. It has also been shown to help patients relax before a medical procedure or surgery. In fact, according to one study, hospitalized patients who watched calming VR videos had a 24 percent drop in their pain scores. Provide patients with a relaxation gift bag to help them de-stress during their stay. Include a set of ear buds a pair of VR glasses and a list of relaxing VR apps imprinted on a healthcare promotional item like a soothing aromatherapy roller bottle.
- Offer an immersive experience: Albert Einstein once said, “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.” Virtual reality can be used to educate patients on what to expect during their hospital stay or procedure. Instead of sending an informational brochure, FAQ sheet and map of the hospital or clinic, send patients a VR headset and a link that takes patients on a facility tour, provides a glimpse of the operating or delivery room and gives a 360-degree view of their recovery room.
- Provide education for better patient care: South of the border, Boston Children’s Hospital is using VR to educate patients and their families. For instance, it provides interactive tours of a patients’ gastrointestinal tract to help them visualize and better understand the child’s condition. This could be applied to many practices and specialties including orthodontics, chiropractic care, cardiology and more. Next time you give your patients their test results, hand them a pair of Virtual Reality Glasses and take them on a journey. Give your little patients a doctor pen and sticky notes. These healthcare promotional items can help them learn and engage in their care through pretend play.
Virtual reality can be a great tool to enhance patient experiences. Try one or more of these VR application ideas—and some healthcare giveaways—to relax patients, reduce pain and provide better patient care.