Feature Story

AR, VR, and mobility transform healthcare operations

by Stephanie Chan

AR, VR, and mobility transforms healthcare operations

How new technology can change a widespread industry inside and out.

Hospital stays can cause stress for anyone, but imagine what it does for a child. Now, a new app may help ease the anxiety for young patients. One important part of the healthcare industry is patient care. That's where technology like augmented reality (AR) comes in. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation created an app called Imaginary Friend Society, where AR can bring digital characters into hospital rooms.

CNET reports that this app was created to help children dealing with cancer. Imaginary Friend Society helps young patients in the hospital combat stress and anxiety through playful engagement and distraction. The free app is available on iPad, iPhone, or hospital touchscreen and includes a dozen different characters.

Similarly, virtual reality (VR) is being used to ease patients' pain and anxiety. With more development of VR technologies, hospitals can now use sleeker and smaller versions of headsets to distract patients from stress. A recent Cedars-Sinai study shows that VR can lower pain. In fact, 50 patients reported a 24 percent drop in pain when using VR to watch calming videos.

Another way new technology is transforming healthcare is through the infrastructure. Cisco collaboration technology and new apps can deliver important information faster. Healthcare app Mobile Heartbeat is a communications and collaboration tool that uses smartphones to deliver information. This helps decision-making and improves patient care. Mobile Heartbeat is built on top of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, a collaboration infrastructure for voice, video calling, messaging, and mobile.

This app allows doctors to look up patients through a directory, and reach necessary people through messages or chats instead of trying to physically track them down. Mobile Heartbeat claims the app cuts down on time consuming steps and improves quality care and efficiency.

Collaboration is crucial for healthcare, and both patients and providers can benefit from the right tools. See how Cisco is changing the industry through its technology here.

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