Among the benefits of VR include: training effect among patients with central nervous system injuries, increased level of self-confidence, well-being, mood and quality of sleep, increased motivation among patients, help patients with Parkinson's disease in the form of VR glasses, reduce impairment, disability and handicap in neurological rehabilitation, and assess initially the effects of traumatic brain injury. Despite the great effect of VR use in the field of health care, reports have stated that it accompanies bad effects to the environment and the people exposed to it. According to reports, patients exposed may suffer physical, physiological and psychological side-effects. Physical injuries include: unwanted postural demands, Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), discomfort and strain in the neck due to big size and heavy weight, harbours fomites which could carry infection, reduced binocular vision, binocular stress, nausea, headache, eye strain and simulator sickness. CONCLUSION: VR technology is of great invention especially in the field of health care, but its consequent effects need to be studied more in order to avoid potential disorders among patients. Thus, we suggest further researches that would study both the benefits and side-effects of VR and determine the factors causing the side effects to the users and the environment as well.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organization that concerns on providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology and management systems to improve and develop the health care system and service. This organization frequently surveys most of its members particularly information technology health care corporations and other companies and professionals worldwide. Their most recent studies focus on critical issues and health care information technology trends. The survey reported that one of the essential concerns of the people is patient safety, in which they wanted to improve this through the help of information technology. One of the key technologies includes computerized physician order entry; wireless local area networking, and personal digital assistants; and virtual reality (Simpson, 2002).
Virtual reality produces a computer-generated environment through the help of computers and multimedia equipments. It allows the user to feel the virtual environment by immersing ones self to the artificial surroundings. This technology allows the user to generate three dimensional representations of real or imaginary situations. The potential use of virtual reality has widened from computer games up to simulated training of professionals such as surgeons, pilots and engineers.
In 1996, Kalawsky pointed out that the main advantages of VR technology are: simulation of complex systems, macroscopic and microscopic visualization, fast and slow time simulation, allow high levels of interactivity, allow a sense of immersion and inherent flexibility/adaptability. The huge potential applications of VR technology made it a great deal to develop these technologies into effective useable systems which may be used in commercial, industrial, and academic institutions.
In terms of health care, VR technology has vast applications that assist patient care. It is used as a remote telesurgery and as surgical simulators