Sergio Cortes told me that virtual reality was one of the most commonly used buzzwords of the 90s. People had big dreams for virtual reality, but the technology of the time simply wasn’t up to it. But the big dreams of the 90s are starting to come into a more concrete reality. As they do, people are coming up with ideas which nobody would have thought possible. In particular, few people suspected that virtual reality might first appear in medical classrooms.
Medical Realities hopes to bring virtual reality tools to medical schools all over the world. They’re focusing on a device known as the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift was initially envisioned as peripheral for video game players. The project began with a small kickstarter campaign. Before anyone know it, the project had millions of dollars worth of donations. This has allowed the developers to take it into more complex directions than they initially intended. The focus on higher resolution and better display technology has also ensured that it can be of use to the medial industry.
For obvious reasons, it’s difficult and costly for medical students to hone their skills within an actual surgical environment. Even use of medical cadavers incurs a huge cost for schools. More importantly, the high cost also ensures that practice time for any given student will be limited.