Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Healthcare: A Market Overview

medical augmented realityAugmented reality overlays digital information in an augmented form in the physical world. It enables the gathering of data and presents the data in 3D condition. Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, is where computer-assisted technology is used to construct a simulated environment virtually. At present, the global virtual reality and augmented reality market across different end-user industries was valued at $12.15 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $78.45 billion by 2025.

Increasing expenditures in the healthcare industry and the need for cutting-edge technologies for the development of novel diagnostics and treatment therapies propelled the need for integrating AR and VR technology in the healthcare industry. Augmented reality in healthcare can help project the organs of the body in 3D format or high definition visuals to highlight the problem areas for better treatment decisions. These technologies can be combined with existing technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray systems to collate all the information for the surgeon for enhanced and high-precision surgeries.

According to the recently published market intelligence report by BIS Research titled Global Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market in Healthcare – Analysis and Forecasts, 2019-2025, the market for virtual reality and augmented reality in healthcare was estimated around $2.14 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $11.14 billion by 2025. The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 23.13%, during the forecast period from 2018-2025.

Key Factors Impacting AR and VR in Healthcare

The AR and VR market in healthcare is influenced by several factors. Some of these factors are responsible for driving the growth of the market, and some are opportunities that can further enable major players operating in the market to sustain competition and grow. Other factors are challenges that are restraining the growth of the market.

Market Drivers and Opportunities

Owing to factors such as increasing investments in the AR and VR market, proficient delivery of services to patients, and technological advancements in AR and VR, the market is expected to grow significantly. The incorporation of AR and VR in medical imaging, surgical suites, and clinics, and its usage in training professionals to assist in complex medical procedures and surgeries are some of the most promising applications of these technologies so far. Further, with the healthcare sector becoming digitalized at a rapid pace, owing to investments from prominent companies, the AR and VR industry is expected to expand its area of applications at a robust rate in the coming years.

Also, the introduction of AR and VR technology in hospitals and healthcare services has successfully addressed the concerns associated with simulation-based training system. The technology has led to development of more secure systems and arranged personalized data for medical procedures. AR and VR technology enable medical practitioners to view precise images of body structures without intrusive methods, making diagnostics an easy process for the patient. At present, the global AR and VR market in healthcare has been used for applications for patient experience, therapeutics, training, drug store executives, and medical procedures.

Additionally, the key factor driving the growth of the virtual and augmented reality market is the large volumes of technological developments. Organizations and research institutes from all over the world are focusing on developing more advanced technologies and tools and consequently expanding the area of applications of AR and VR technology. For instance, in 2018, the Queen’s University in Canada introduced a medical training center which consisted of VR simulations. Similarly, the Boston Children’s Hospital and Klick Health in 2018 developed a HealthVoyager tool which helped patients to apprehend their medical conditions.

Additionally, there are several opportunities present in the market that can help expand the market in the future. These opportunities include hardware and app development with faster processing and a combination of innovative methods such as data visualization and interactive patient information and body mapping. With a number of technological advancements, the AR and VR market is witnessing several changes.

In terms of hardware, more sturdy headsets are required to overcome issues such as image latency to surpass the problem of inaccurate augmentation. Several innovations such as development of graphics processing units (GPUs), central processing units (CPUs), and digital signal processors, among others, augment the use of technologies such as depth sensing and 3D mapping.

Another big opportunity that can help expand the AR and VR market in the healthcare industry is the patient information management system. Currently, the extent to which the data is generated and accumulated from a patient is huge and difficult to collate, which makes it difficult for specialists to comprehend the problem areas, which can delay the treatment process. With the help of AR and VR technology, the treatment process can be made more efficient as these technologies can highlight the tricky focal points that need to be corrected in a patient. AR and VR technology, with the help of body mapping (providing the full view of the patients’ body), can further enhance the overall treatment process.

Market Restraints and Challenges

On the other hand, there are factors that are responsible for restraining the growth of the market such as lack of proficiency among medical practitioners to adopt new technologies, threats related to data breach, and social issues such as public acceptance and retention.

The widespread adoption of AR and VR headsets has been hindered due to multiple factors, such as health risks, chance of information security leak, and privacy issues. Also, common social issues, such as discomfort of people in wearing something all over can also act as an hinderance to widespread adoption of AR and VR headsets. Many times, it has also been noticed that most people are unaware of the advantages offered by the AR and VR technologies. Lack of expertise among medical practitioners in the use of AR and VR for medical procedures is another challenge faced by the market. Such a scenario is evident as even today there are a number of clinics that are using manual systems for managing and storing the records of the patients.

Segmentation of the Market for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Healthcare

The market intelligence report published by BIS Research offers detailed segmentation of the market for AR and VR in healthcare. For the purpose of the study, the market has been segmented into industry type, component type, end-user, application type, and region.

On the basis of industry type segment, the market is segmented into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The AR and VR market in healthcare by component type is further segmented into software, hardware, and services. The software sub-segment is additionally segregated into different types of VR software, different types of AR software, content and content distribution platform, enterprise solution, games and apps, image capture and scanning, and development tools. In 2018, the content and content distribution platform dominated the market by software type.

The hardware sub-segment of the market is segregated into head-mounted display, control inputs, and headphones; tracking sensors; display projectors, and optical engines; and others. In 2018, head-mounted display, control inputs, and headphones generated the maximum revenue in the hardware sub-segment of the market. In the case of the services segment of the market by component type, the segmentation is done on the basis of consulting service, custom application development, system integration – setup and support, and others. The major contribution to the services market can be attributed to custom application development segment in the year 2018. Among the three sub-segments of the component type of the AR and VR market, the hardware segment contributed the maximum in terms of revenue in 2018.

The segmentation of the AR and VR market on the basis of end-user is further segmented into diagnostic centers, hospital and clinics academic institutes, and medical research organization. Further, based on application type, the market is segmented into surgical planning, training, and navigation; behavioral neurology/rehabilitation; pain management; and others. In context of the regional segmentation the market has been segregated in to North America, Europe, APAC, and Rest-of-the-World (ROW). In 2018, the region of North America dominated the AR and VR market in healthcare.

Key Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Companies

The report by BIS Research profiles several augmented reality companies and virtual reality companies that are expected to dominate the AR and VR market in healthcare, of which 15 are listed below.

  1. Alphabet Inc.
  2. Atheer
  3. Augmedix
  4. CAE Healthcare
  6. Echopixel
  7. Firsthand Technology
  8. Koninklijke Philips N.V.
  9. Medical Realities
  10. Microsoft Corporation
  11. Mindmaze
  12. Orca Health
  13. OssoVR
  14. Psious
  15. Surgical Theater

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market in Healthcare Research Report

This comprehensive market research report by BIS Research draws on research from a mix of primary interviews and secondary research, along with analytical tools that have been used to build forecasts and predictive models. For more information, visit the report page using the link above to read the full abstract. 

About the Publisher: BIS Research is a global market intelligence, research and advisory company that focuses on emerging technology trends that are likely to disrupt the market. Its team includes industry veterans, experts, and analysts with diverse backgrounds in consulting, investment banking, government, and academia.

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Topics: Software & Enterprise Computing Healthcare Industry Insights