Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a highly evolved technology with the potential to allow people to interact in a computer-generated three-dimensional environment in real time using their natural senses and skills.

Although virtual reality is closely related to computer simulation, it has many unique features. Whereas simulation is a method useful for education and training, virtual reality implies a computer-generated environment that is much more life like. With the help of an interface device, the user becomes a part of a virtual environment within which he/she can move and manipulate objects.

Although the term virtual reality was first introduced by Jaron Lanier in 1989, the concept of virtual reality emerged long before in 1963, when Ivan Sutherland developed the head-mounted display, which heralded the theories and themes of modern immersive science (44). In the 1970s, various industries began to see the applications and implications of virtual reality. One of the more obvious applications of virtual reality was in the making of films like Star Wars that were studded with special effects.

The three-dimensional mapping of genomes in deoxy ribonuclic acid research introduced virtual reality into medicine.

The introduction of virtual reality into surgery began in the 1980s. Surgical training is one of the key applications of this technology. For the purpose of surgical training, simulation and virtual reality do not have to rely on detailed graphics (unlike complex

In telesurgery, the surgeon relies completely on the sensor data, which is transmitted by the robot at the remote location. The sensor data, therefore, must be very accurately transmitted.

Human-computer interface is one of the most complicated aspects of telesurgery. It has to be simple, intuitive, and efficient.

Virtual reality is a highly evolved technology with the potential to allow people to interact in a computergenerated three-dimensional environment in real time using their natural senses and skills.

The three-dimensional mapping of genomes in deoxy ribonuclic acid research introduced virtual reality into medicine.

Surgical training is expensive, time consuming, and can be limited by the number of cases available at a particular institution. With virtual reality technology, surgical trainees would have the ability to sharpen their skills and broaden their experience by performing procedures repeatedly in a simulated environment outside the operating room.

The loss of haptic feedback is a shortcoming of contemporary robotic systems. Another obstacle to the widespread application of robotics is cost.

professional flight simulators) and even moderately detailed surgical virtual reality systems could be effective in task training.

Surgical training is expensive, time consuming, and can be limited by the number of cases available at a particular institution. Ideally, surgical trainees would have the ability to sharpen their skills and broaden their experience by performing procedures repeatedly in a simulated environment outside the operating room. Virtual reality technology has the potential to provide surgeons with this type of optimal training environment.

A number of virtual reality training systems have been developed. For example, a venipuncture simulator proved to be effective in training health-care professionals. The system employs force feedback to simulate the feel of a cannula entering the skin and vein (45). There are a variety of more complex systems available for endoscopic procedures, including gastroscopy and colonoscopy to train gastroenterologists (45). Cardiac catheterization and angiography trainers are also available with real time modeling of physiological parameters and blood flow (45).

As computing power continues to advance, so will the capabilities of virtual reality systems. At present, virtual reality systems for surgery provide highly detailed models that are capable of fulfilling some of the training needs of surgeons. While still very expensive, it is estimated that with proper marketing and with the development of cheaper methods of production, the economics of virtual reality will become more favorable.

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