TUCSON, Ariz. - World experts on the topic of Virtual Reality and Healthcare will assemble at the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center, March 7-8, to discuss the latest trends and topics and exhibit new innovations and technology in this fast-emerging health-care field.
The UA-sponsored symposium marks the largest global gathering highlighting the research, applications and opportunities in virtual, augmented and mixed reality in health care. The event begins Thursday at the Student Union, 1303 E. Union Blvd., with two keynote addresses in the South Ballroom:
- Marvin Slepian, MD, UA professor, conference co-chair and founder and director of the Arizona Center for Advanced Biomedical Innovation at the UA, will present, "Health Care 2019: Realities, Stressors and Opportunities," 9:15-9:45 a.m.
- Walter Greenleaf, PhD, conference co-chair and an expert on the medical applications of virtual reality technology at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, will discuss, "Virtual Reality and Healthcare: The Past, The Present and The Future," 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.
Virtual reality technology already has been used to relieve surgical pain, for physical therapy, to reduce fear, anxiety and phobia and for cognitive rehabilitation, among other uses. When combined with simulation, virtual reality increasingly is being used for training and education, providing an effective and relatively low-cost way to improve skills and educate health students and practicing clinicians.
"Advances in imaging and simulation, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), already are being used to complement surgical training and planning...AR and VR technology platforms will enable multidisciplinary teams to connect and specialist surgeons to support complex procedures remotely," according to the Commission on the Future of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons, December 2018.
Sponsored by the UA Department of Biomedical Engineering, the UA BIO5 Institute and the Arizona Center for Advanced Biomedical Innovation, the conference focuses on the practical application of these technologies in everyday clinical practice, including case studies outlining how this technology is being used today to improve practice.
Dr. Slepian also is a professor of medicine; member of UA Sarver Heart Center; professor of medical Imaging; professor and associate department head, UA Department of Biomedical Engineering; member of the UA BIO5 Institute; professor materials science and engineering; and McGuire Scholar, UA Eller College of Management.
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu