The Role of AR, XR and Telemedicine in the Post-COVID-19 World

AR, VR, Telemedicine

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused various businesses across different industries. It has dragged the world economy graph towards a declining state. Despite these uncertainties, the pandemic has also opened up ways for technological innovations, enabling the use of technologies a sense of urgency. This is especially imperative for maintaining social distancing, automating processes to reduce human-to-human contact and improving overall productivity. This will surely give the rise of deep technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) in the aftermath of COVID-19.

As the world has sent to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the contagious virus, people are now turning to immersive solutions whether to keep run their businesses or engage with a brand effortlessly. AR and VR technologies are emerging as effective solutions in this time as it enables employees and common people to connect with others virtually. The pandemic has also brought opportunities for telemedicine or telehealth platforms that are able to offer both patients and care providers a different experience while delivering treatment.

For instance, JD Health, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant JD.com, saw a tenfold growth in monthly consultations for its online health platform in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. In addition, a provider of extended reality and therapeutic applications XRHealth is developing VR telehealth support in its response to prevent the spread of the virus.

Immersive Technologies for Training Employees

VR headsets are not just bound to home use or entertainment, rather enterprises are using them for training their employees. In order to maintain their businesses’ productivity even in the time of crisis, companies are proactively experimenting with VR platforms to train their workforce, hold conferences, share the same table during discussing or launching projects and connect employees virtually. In this regard, scientists across the globe have increasingly turned to Nanome, a VR software platform for molecular design, to work together on COVID-19 research and potential treatments.

Since access to face-to-face training of employees is limited and to equip health workers with detailed COVID-19-centric skills has become essential, training using XR technology has a positive impact on retaining healthcare professionals skills. A Bristol-based training company Virti, for instance, has come forward to deliver remote educational programmes to NHS (National Health Services) employees. After receiving approval from Health Education England, the company was able to begin COVID-19-specific modules for use on its immersive training platform, accessible to NHS staff using a VR headset, desktop or smart device.

So, as businesses are suffering more with the effects of COVID-19 induced crisis, such immersive technologies are emerging as their rescue solutions helping them to keep sustain and improve their business profitability not only during the pandemic, but also post-crisis era.

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