Trends in virtual reality technologies for the learning patient
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NextMed convened the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 22 (MMVR 22) conference in 2016. Since 1992, the conference has brought together a diverse group of researchers to share creative solutions for the evolving challenge of integrating virtual reality tools into medical education. Virtual reality (VR) and its enabling technologies utilize hardware and software to simulate environments and encounters where users can interact and learn. The MMVR 22 symposium proceedings contain projects that support a variety of learners: medical students, practitioners, soldiers, and patients. This report will contemplate the trends in virtual reality technologies for patients navigating their medical and healthcare learning. The learning patient seeks more than intervention; they seek prevention. From virtual humans and environments to motion sensors and haptic devices, patients are surrounded by increasingly rich and transformative data-driven tools. Applied data enables VR applications to simulate experience, predict health outcomes, and motivate new behavior. The MMVR 22 presents investigations into the usability of wearable devices, the efficacy of avatar inclusion, and the viability of multi-player gaming. With increasing need for individualized and scalable programming, only committed open source efforts will align instructional designers, technology integrators, trainers, and clinicians.