Once upon a time, people were educated by reading books. Then the internet came along and people had another option for discovering information about any topic they could think of. And then came mobile. No longer are students tied to a desktop computer to learn. Now they have the internet in the palm of their hands 24/7. So what's next? Augmented Reality.
AR technology combines computer graphics with real-world images, putting additional information into the user's field of view. The Pokémon craze is a great example of AR. The game inserts digital images of Pokémon characters into the real-world view through a phone's camera. Unlike a virutal reality (VR) experience that removes a learner/user from their surrounding and places them inside an alternative visual world, augmented reality brings the world around the user to life.
The technology of AR has the potential to provide a number of resources to the healthcare industry and is expected to reach more than 1.5 billion in growth by 2020. Doctors are using AR to learn laparoscopic surgery techniques more quickly than ever before. Augmented reality is being used with ultrasounds for better imaging. The applications are endless.
For the patient, AR can provide a multisensory education experience. For example, following discharge from the hospital, a patient could quickly gain access to videos, audios and important care information through the use of AR with their mobile device. This can increase their level of comprehension by allowing them to look away from text and better visualize their care. A 3D rendering could instantly convey something that is difficult to describe in text. A multisensory learning environment can be better for learning and provide a better post-service experience to patients.
The use of this new technology will make a huge impact on the standard of patient education. We'll tell you how CCI will be using this technology in our next post!