The promise of immersive healthcare

How the UK can reap the benefits of the latest healthcare innovations that use immersive technology.

Immersive technology has provided new and enhanced healthcare solutions and treatments over recent decades. As the technology matures, there are great expectations of its potential to further promote the advancement of medicine through a wide range of new and enhanced devices and treatments.

With that said, innovators and researchers at the cutting edge of this novel field face structural, financial, and regulatory challenges as they seek to achieve medical benefits. The conference concluded that action is needed to address these issues and release the potential of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to help provide enhanced healthcare services. Participants proposed a range of measures that would help to address problems in the field, which form the basis for the recommendations of this report.

This Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) insight, introduces immersive healthcare technology in the UK and has been written for all those academic, industry and policy stakeholders that are interested in the subject of immersive healthcare.
Immersive healthcare continues to advance but there are still many challenges and concerns that need to be addressed.
This IET document seeks to provide insight into key issues, views and recommendations given at the Think Big: Future Health and Life Sciences Unconference, jointly hosted by the IET, Immerse UK and Hatsumi VR in November 2019. It contains a summary of key recommendations from participants, data and ethical challenges and case studies.

The author of the report is Liz Heron. This document was reviewed by the members of the IET’s Healthcare Sector and immersive healthcare technology participants in the Think Big: Future Health and Life Science Unconference: Andreea Ion Cojocaru (Numena), Charles Lowe (Digital Health and Care Alliance), Chris Lowthorpe (InGame), David Calder (KTN), Fiona Kilkelly (Immerse UK), Gabriela Juarez Martinez (KTN), Georgie Weston (Aquarius Population Health), Glenn Hapgood (ReScape), Ivan Phelan (Sheffield Hallam University), Jessica LaCombe (Tiny Victories), Kate Parkinson (Also Known As), Kavya Pearlman (XR Safety Initiative), Neil Mortimer (WMAHSN), Niki Smit (Deep/Monobanda), Nury Moreira (IET), Rebecca Farmer (Severn Hospice), Ria Carline (Greener Games), Rosie Collins (The Fred Company), Ross O’Brien (Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust), Sarah Ticho (Hatsumi), Tony Langford (Mindfulness Centre of Excellence)