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VR Googles in medicine

VR goggles have evolved from being merely entertainment gadgets for technology enthusiasts to becoming useful tools in various industries, including medicine. AR and VR technologies have begun to support specialists in documenting medical treatment, telemedicine, vital signs monitoring, and diagnosis [1]. Through the simulation of computer-generated environments, VR allows therapists to recreate stressful scenarios for a patient in a safe setting, while medical schools conduct immersive surgical simulations beneficial for student learning [2]. At Massachusetts General Hospital, residents and students at the Orthopedics department utilize the PrecisionOS system to further enhance their motor skills required during surgeries [3]. VR provides a realistic learning environment that is safe for both the medic and the patient, even in the most challenging medical cases.

In March this year, Apple Vision Pro goggles, in collaboration with eXeX software, aided surgeons during two microsurgical spine procedures at the Cromwell Hospital in London [4]. Apple Vision Pro was introduced by the tech giant in February this year, along with various software and applications available for use in multiple medical fields [5]. eXeX, supported by artificial intelligence, streamlines surgical procedures and equipment management through precisely defined procedural steps. These insights are available before and during surgeries, allowing the surgical team to observe the process and equipment in real-time and follow the detailed instructions provided.

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VR is increasingly being used to alleviate patient pain [6]. In a review titled “Virtual Reality as a method to reduce pain and anxiety in pediatric patients – a review,” conducted by Polish scientists, VR was identified as a promising method for reducing perioperative anxiety, pain during wound dressing, and pain and anxiety during invasive procedures [7]. Furthermore, in Dr. Mateusz Łuczak’s doctoral thesis, it was reported that VR technology in Oculus Go goggles helped reduce discomfort during a painful cystoscopy procedure [8].

The possibilities for utilizing artificial intelligence, AR, and VR appear to be expanding, with research firm Research and Markets forecasting that the use of AR and VR in healthcare could achieve an annual growth rate of 22.5% from 2023 to 2027 [9]. However, these technologies undoubtedly require refinement and cost optimization, as their current pricing poses a significant obstacle to widespread adoption.


  1. Journal of Medical Internet Research,  2020, 22(11), e17980, The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality in Managing Acute Pain and Anxiety for Medical Inpatients: Systematic Review. authors Smith, V., Warty, R. R., Sursas, J. A., Payne, O., Nair, A., Krishnan, S., da Silva Costa, F., Wallace, E. M., & Vollenhoven, B. [access 21.03.2023]
  2., Apple Vision Pro unlocks new opportunities for health app developers, [access 21.03.2023]
  3. Business Insider, Apple’s Vision Pro was used in surgery to help perform spinal operations, author Jyoti Mann, [access 21.03.2023]
  4. HealthTech Magazine, How AR & VR in Healthcare Enhances Medical Training, author Brian T. Horowitz,  [access 21.03.2023]
  5. Business Wire, Global $9.79 Bn AR-VR in Healthcare Market to 2027 by Component, Device Type, Application, End Use –,— [access 21.03.2023]
  6. Fox Business, Apple Vision Pro headset becomes tool in operating room, author Aislinn Murphy, [access 21.03.2023]
  7. Annals – The Collegium of Economic Analysis, Warsaw School of Economics, Issue 56/2019, page 275-289, Wykorzystanie wirtualnej rzeczywistości w medycynie i służbie zdrowia, authors Dorota Kamińska, Grzegorz Zwoliński [access 21.03.2023]
  8. Journal of Education, Health and Sport, 19 May 2023. Vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 80-93,Virtual Reality as a method to reduce pain and anxiety in pediatric patients – a review, 19 May 2023. authors Fussek-Styga Urszula, Błaszczyk Agnieszka, Trojan Sara, Kwieciński Jakub, Miszuda Sławomir, Szwedkowicz Agata, Basiaga Bartosz, Bednarz Krzysztof, Heluszka Jakub, Leśniak Marek, [access 21.03.2023]
  9. Polish Platform of Medical Research, Wpływ stosowania urządzeń do wirtualnej rzeczywistości na dolegliwości bólowe i lęk u chorych poddawanych zabiegom urologicznym przeprowadzanych w znieczuleniu miejscowym lub bez znieczulenia, author Mateusz Łuczak, [access 21.03.2023]

Cover photo: Unsplash

Paula Śnieć
Written by:

Paula Śnieć

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