By Stella Porter and Amos Mayberry
Researchers at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery are expanding the uses of Virtual Reality in healthcare.
“We have scans of 20 homes in Wisconsin so you can walk through an actual 3D model of someone’s house in Wisconsin and kind of interact with them and see the different environments,” says researcher Cale Geffre.
These scans from a lab in Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery create a virtual reality that will help healthcare professionals learn how do home walkthroughs and warn patients of potential hazards in their homes.
“If before you were discharged, a doctor or I’ve been told from other people it would not be a doctor, it would be a nurse or discharge planner could basically do a virtual walkthrough of your house and point out ‘this is a tripping hazard, this is something you might want to change, we could see that being a really big benefit for readmission rates,” says Discovery Dialogue Hub Leader Kevin Ponto.
Researchers started using a six-sided projection room called the cave. Over time, they have moved to using virtual reality headsets to view the scans. Ponto says virtual reality faces cultural and financial hurdles in its development.
Healthcare is just one application of virtual reality. Researchers at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery are testing its use in other fields like criminal justice and historical preservation.