Doctors trained with virtual reality separate conjoined twins joined by the head

  • Currently the virtual reality market has reached 1,360 million dollars.

  • VR is expected to top $2.97 billion by 2023.

  • Virtual reality is changing the way we consume video games and videos.

Technology continues to become a good tool for all humanity, especially in the field of health. What is considered a scientific success was recently revealed as doctors separated two conjoined twins after virtual reality training, which greatly reduced the chance of error when the procedure was performed on children joined at the head.

Virtual Reality (VR) can be defined as an environment of life-like scenes and objects generated by computer technology that creates in the user the feeling of being immersed in it.

The projections for this industry are more than great, with a flourishing number of manufacturers and users especially in China and the United States, for which an estimated market value for 2024 exceeds 12 billion US dollars.

Likewise, a study by SuperData Researchdetails that the estimated revenue of the immersive technology industry amounted in 2020 to approximately 6.3 billion dollars worldwide. The largest segment of the market is virtual reality, which accounted for at least half of the total, while mobile augmented reality and augmented/mixed reality headsets brought in about $3.7 billion combined.

Virtual reality in medicine

A new technological success was experienced after a group of doctors trained through virtual reality, separated Brazilian twins Bernardo and Arthur Lima, three years old, who were joined at the head.

According to specialists, this training greatly reduced the possibility of error when the procedure was carried out on children, despite being the most complex surgery of its kind ever performed by doctors.

It is estimated that in the world, one in every 60,000 children born alive are Siamese, that is, twins who are joined by some part of the body. It is thus a rare condition.

Likewise, according to information reported by the media, the children Bernardo and Arthur underwent a total of seven operations. Only the last two surgeries required doctors 33 hours of work in the operating room, the last of which involved 27 hours with the participation of one hundred health professionals.

The surgery was conducted by Noor ul Owase Jeelani, a British pediatric neurosurgeon of Indian origin, from Great Ormond Street Hospital, London; and the Brazilian doctor Gabriel Mufarrej, head of pediatric surgery at the Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute in Rio de Janeiro. It was in this last health center that the care of the Lima children began.

In that sense, the case of the twins was very complex, because the doctors initially thought that the separation would not be possible, since the children shared vital veins of the brain.

Surgeons in London and Rio de Janeiro spent several months testing techniques using virtual reality projections of the twins based on CT and MRI scans.

The surgeons wore virtual reality headsets and operated together in the same “virtual reality room”, which allowed them to overcome doubts and fears about the actual procedure.

A report by Mapfre, technology allows to reduce the cost of medical care and transform the way it is delivered, That is why one of the most successful digital technologies applied to social innovation in the health sector is virtual reality.

“In the health sector, perhaps the best known use of Virtual Reality is the training of health personnel. Precisely the absence of trained doctors and, above all, the difficulties in updating the knowledge of these doctors, constitute fundamental limitations of many health systems”, says the report.

In this sense, virtual reality makes it possible to offer continuous training to health professionals, mainly surgeons, in a cheaper and decentralized way. But it is also a good tool in many industries.

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