Post Covid patients, especially those affected seriously by it, are expected to have higher needs for physical, psychological and cognitive rehabilitation. Virtual Reality (VR) administers fast, tailor-made rehabilitation at a distance, and offers a solution for the impending surge of demand for rehabilitation after COVID-19. The immersion of VR may increase therapy adherence and may distract the patient from experienced fatigue and anxiety.

An intensive care admission is a fearsome experience, especially when a patient is supported by mechanical ventilation as is common in COVID-19. Depression occurs in approximately 30% of recovering patients, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 10–50% of patients and anxiety in 70% of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome after coronavirus infection or {PICS} patients. Psychological therapy targeting these indications can be offered through VR. VR rehabilitation as part of telemedicine solutions has several advantages compared to traditional rehabilitation. First, considering our society’s continuing need for social distancing, therapy can be given at a distance. Second, VR allows therapists to treat patients simultaneously. While therapists must monitor sessions at a distance in some cases, live support is generally not required, increasing patients’ autonomy and reducing the workload of therapists. What makes VR particularly different is that it provides its users with a 3D immersive environment. The immersion makes therapy more fun and reduces distraction from the external environment. Both might increase therapy adherence and engagement. Besides, VR may serve to distract patients from experienced fatigue and anxiety which would otherwise hinder their ability to move.

The COVID-19 crisis has generated a need to expand telehealth technologies. Embedding VR in virtual care platforms would assist in spreading of VR therapy, both for post-COVID-19 patients in the present and possibly for other patients with similar rehabilitation needs in the future.


Virtual reality (VR) opens up so many opportunities, giving users the ability to do everything from swimming in the ocean to flying through outer space with ease. The technology’s fun options are endless — but how does it fit into childbirth ?. VR magnifies the mind-body connection & influences our brain on how it perceives the sensation of pain. Recently virtual reality is being used by doctors during labor to distract & calm women until its time to push.

Virtual reality offers patients a medication-free option to help them cope with the anxieties and pain of birth. There is a research that is focused on women in labor, involving a half-hour test that displayed certain relaxing sequences via a VR headset. The experiment involved women who hadn’t been given pain drugs and were going into labor for the first time. According to Reuters, the study participants who wore the VR headsets over a 30-minute period had an average 0.52 point drop on the self-reported pain scale (which goes from 1 to 10) compared with the control group that experienced a nearly identical rise  in pain.

Using VR for women in labor has additional benefits such as:

  • Lower Costs.
  • Few side effects.
  • Less risk to the mother & the baby.
  • A medication free option
  • Effective pain relief.
  • Also offers reliefs during post-birth procedures like stitches for tears or incisions.

Virtual reality could also help those who may have an active or past substance use disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s  clinical guide on treating pregnant people with opioid use disorder explains that those with the disorder can have a diminished response to opioid medication. This means they often require higher doses to find relief. During labor, it’s possible that VR could offer a way to augment or replace medication to help manage pain for those with a substance use disorder.

During labor, VR offers a way to augment or replace medication to help manage pain effectively may also increase the body’s own levels of endorphins and other pain-blocking mechanisms.


Several disciplines have investigated the interconnected empathic abilities behind the proverb “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” to determine how we perceive somebody else’s pain and condition. Empathy enables us to learn from others’ pain and to know when to offer support. Human brain makes an embodied simulation of the body in the world, and uses this simulation to depict and prepare its responses. Similarly, VR also stimulates sensory receptors in users & influence a person’s decision-making ability.

VR solutions helps physicians and healthcare worker to get first-hand experience of the specific symptoms by themselves. For example, if a doctor or nurse can now watch and participate in a 3-D environment to feel what a patient suffering from dementia goes through everyday. In the simulation, they can hear the conversations from the patient’s family going on around them and, even more impressively, they can  hear the thoughts  of the patients’ they embody using VR. Virtual Reality is not only facilitating heightened empathy in existing medical practices, it’s also supporting a new generation of doctors in their work. One of the most promising fields is integrating VR software that allows medical students to empathize with older adults. In fact it has been proved that using the headsets in VR medics can grasp the different difficulties that exist with old-age like severe hearing problems, joint pains, loss of vision, posture imbalance etc.

Another aspect that can be taken into consideration, is staging difficult conversations between the doctors & the family members of the patients. VR can help generate different scenarios where the doctor has to communicate news about terminally ill patients or life-ending steps. The respond during these simulations can help the doctors be more considerate and and help practice overly-distressing scenes.

It’s important to recognize that virtual reality is not intended to prompt emotions from medical staff using the technology. Instead, VR can help professionals harness perceived emotions to change how they act in the real world. By having a clearer insight into patients’ perceptions, tailormade VR platforms can be built to promote coping mechanisms and even rehabilitation – bridging the gap between patients and professionals for good.


Virtual reality is all set to revolutionize the healthcare industry in coming years and has untapped potential to take the industry by force. The global VR in healthcare market size was valued at $ 240.91 million in 2018 and is expected to exponentially increase to $ 4.64 billion by 2025. The major reason for the growth is attributed to the fact that VR allows easy integration of IT solutions in all aspects of healthcare transforming patient care.

Statista_VR market value

The scope of using VR in healthcare expands from training nurses, medical marketing, performing surgeries to disease awareness. Moreover, when combined with other techniques like MRI / CT scan, VR emerges as an even more powerful diagnostic tool. But the driving force behind this global rise in the market value of medical VR industry is the increase in demand for more innovative treatment & diagnostic options for patient care. Furthermore, the recent advancements in technological domain with cutting edge laptops, phones & internet connectivity has also fueled up the market growth. Increase in usage of VR in advanced dental procedures and cancer therapies is anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities for the growth of VR in healthcare market in coming future.

The global virtual reality in the healthcare market is segmented on the basis of technology, product, end user, and region. On the basis of technology, the market is segmented into head-mounted, gesture-tracking, and projector & display walls. The VR headsets are important device that allows users to immerse in the gaming environment is the head-mounted display – a wraparound hardware which does not allow light or images from the outside to interfere with the virtual images. The hardware market is set to grow at a rapid rate in the upcoming years to $ 10 billion.

Statista_VR hardware Growing interest and increasing availability of VR products will drive sales of virtual reality devices in the upcoming years. With more progression, the softwares will be designed to cater to specific needs of different departments. Customizability, flexibility for repeated use and more immersive environment, the software sale will increase to $ 6.4 billion.

Statista_VR softwareBased on end user, Based on end user, the VR in healthcare market is classified into hospitals and clinics, research laboratories, and other end users. The hospitals and clinics segment is anticipated to grow during the forecast period due to surge in use of virtual reality for surgeons to assist them during surgeries in hospitals across the globe. Moreover, there is an expected increase for using VR in pain management, neurological disorder treatments & anxiety treatment.


As technology advances, nurse educators are reimagining how they deliver simulation-based education. VR is a solution that gives educators the flexibility to provide simulations that are scalable, innovative, and engaging. Hence, many educators are looking for solutions that are robust and caters to all their needs. Lets deep dive into some common questions that any nurse educator might have while using VR for training and educating nurses.

1. Is the platform designed for nurses?

Nursing students have unique educational requirements and need a simulation platform that puts them first. They need relevant simulations that incorporate the nursing process, nursing theory, and the holistic care of patients. This includes scenarios that challenge students within the nursing scope of practice as they make autonomous decisions and develop clinical judgment.

2. How much can we customize the scenarios?

Customization is key while choosing a VR platform because there is np ‘one shoe fits all’ solution while using VR for educating nurses. Pre-made scenarios can be very constraining and limit the extent of educational needs of your institution & region. Educators are always looking for flexibility while implementing VR, as nursing education has diverse learning objectives & outcomes. Students should ideally be prepared for any situation that they realistically see in their communities and real live environment and customization allows educators to ensure the simulation content is relevant and meaningful.

3. How immersive is the platform?

VR Stimulation is more of an umbrella term in the wide spectrum of different features ranging from screen-based activities to truly immersive experiences. The level of immersion, or the degree to which the learner feels present within the virtual clinical environment is the key distinguishing factor between various VR platforms. The more immersive a platform is, the more interactive experience is and the resultant outcome is tremendously improved. Immersive VR platforms provide a multisensory, hands-on experience inside a 3D virtual world with students donning headsets. They also perceive themselves as physically present inside the virtual clinical environment as they move around the space, operate the virtual equipment, assess the patient, and implement nursing interventions.

4. Can the trainees communicate with the virtual patient?

During VR simulation, it is important for nursing students to practice communicating with patients in their own words, as they would in a real-life clinical setting. The learning objective is only optimized if the nurses get a feedback from the patients during training. Virtual reality helps in creating scenarios in which students speak freely lead to increased authenticity, as they communicate naturally and realistically with the virtual patient. Trainers can then assess the students and give feedback based on the actual dialog with the virtual patient.

5. How often can students use VR?

Research shows that repeated exposure to a scenario improves student knowledge scores, clinical performance, and self-confidence in learning. Scenario repeatability also allows educators to implement simulation in a deliberate practice model, where students complete the scenario multiple times as they improve care of the virtual patient. Also, repeated attempts allow the educator to re-enter the scenario with students in order to focus on specific performance gaps or learning objectives within the overall simulation.