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Global Virtual Reality (VR) in Medical Market Driven by Increasing Use of VR in Surgical Training and Patient Treatment

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Mar 2022
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Image: VR in medical market is expected to reach nearly USD 4 billion in 2028 (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
Image: VR in medical market is expected to reach nearly USD 4 billion in 2028 (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

The global virtual reality (VR) in medical market was valued at USD 0.44 billion in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 31.1% during the forecast period 2021-28 to reach USD 3.98 billion in 2028, driven by the increasing use of VR in surgical training and patient treatment, rapid technological advancements in VR headsets, and growing application of VR in medical education.

These are the latest findings of Emergen Research (Surrey, BC, Canada), a market research and consulting company.

VR has been widely used in the field of healthcare over the recent past and is applied in a broad range of applications such as medical training, disease treatment, and medical education, among others. VR comprises output tools, input devices, graphical manufacturing system and information software of a virtual environment. VR has emerged as a powerful diagnostic tool to help doctors and physicians carry out accurate diagnosis in combination with other imaging tests, which can further eliminate the need for invasive techniques. VR is also being widely used in rehabilitation and treatment over conventional physiotherapy. The benefits of using VR is that it allows multiple repetitions of simple tasks in clinical practice without needing supervision, enables easy use of head-mounted devices in patients with mobility issues which ensures pleasurable and convenient environment, and facilitates easy collection of data for efficient monitoring of progress. The application of VR in surgical training can also drastically reduce probability of surgical errors, in turn, improving patient safety. Training and treatment through VR environments could save resources need for critical tasks, and this can further reduce the costs and financial burden on healthcare organizations.

Increasing applications of VR in the medical sector such as VR surgical simulators, telepresence surgery, complex medical database visualization, and rehabilitation are some of the key factors expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. In addition, increasing research and development (R&D) in VR and technological advancements will allow surgeons to evaluate and practice new techniques on simulators before performing them on patients. This has the potential to significantly transform medical and surgical training and ensure precision and can further fuel market growth. However, technological limitations in various healthcare organizations, low adoption of VR technology across clinical facilities, and lack of adequate knowledge among professionals in the developing and underdeveloped countries regarding the benefits of VR in the healthcare sector are some of the factors that could hamper market growth to some extent during the forecast period.

Based on technology, the gesture tracking technology segment is expected to register the fastest growth due to the increasing application of gesture interaction for improving the efficiency of doctors in improving disease treatment, ensuring faster patient recovery, and facilitating interactivity in medical education and training. Gesture tracking technology enables doctors and surgeons to flip through patient data at any given time during the medical procedure which helps them improve surgical efficiency. Gesture tracking technology also helps reduce the probability of healthcare associated infections by enabling a touchless interface for patient data retrieval which is also expected to contribute to the segment’s revenue growth, going ahead. Based on end-use, the hospital segment is expected to account for largest revenue share of the VR in medical market due to the increasing adoption of VR systems and devices in hospitals, driven by rising awareness and availability of sufficient funds, availability of skilled healthcare professionals, increasing investments in accelerating advancement of healthcare facilities, and favorable reimbursement policies.

Geographically, North America is expected to account for the largest revenue share in the global VR in medical market due to rising awareness about the benefits of VR and its subsequent rapid adoption, increasing investments in R&D activities in the healthcare sector, growing healthcare expenditure, and presence of key market players in the region. In addition, rapid technological advancements in AR and VR devices, increasing initiatives to encourage the adoption of VR tech in surgical and medical training, and integration of advanced technologies such as EHRs and VR systems in the healthcare sector are expected to contribute further to the growth of the VR in medical market in North America.

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