A report by Grand View Research, Inc. shows that the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in healthcare market could reach $5.1 billion by the year of 2025. AR and VR are becoming increasingly more common in all areas of the medical field, which is leading to increased investments in these technologies, and strong development in healthcare IT, as well.

The largest section of the market is driven by apps that replicate surgical procedures, provide diagnostic imaging, help with patient care management, help with rehabilitation, and aid in health management. By using AR and VR to train medical professionals, they gain a higher understanding of physiology and anatomy which assists in more complicated surgeries that require great precision.

VR can also help patients get over many phobias and fears when used as exposure therapy. These technologies are beginning to gain clout in fitness management, as well, due to the continued development of apps that help doctors, as well as patients.

A drive for the segment is also seen in use of these technologies in live streaming of surgeries for medical education. Market opportunities also come courtesy of new ways of monitoring patients and their pain. A focus on streamlining of medical operations, along with a patient demand for better care services, pushes the envelope for the adoption of VR and AR training.

The large number of startups in these technology areas has also led to a much larger demand for investment to develop these technologically advanced systems. An increase in private investments is something we see regularly, which is another means of growth.

There were many other key findings within the report, which we will touch upon a bit below:

  • Key players in the market include CAE Healthcare, Intuitive Surgical, GE Healthcare, Hologic Inc, Virtual Realities LLC, and Philips Healthcare
  • The Pacific-Asia market may expect a growth of 33% over the period from now until 2025
  • The global market for VR and AR is dominated by North America, mainly due to having more advanced technology and better infrastructure
  • AR, rather than VR, dominated the technology world last year, mostly due to use in training and surgeries
  • The rise in using wearable devices led to the hardware sector holding most of the revenue share last year.

It is expected the government funding programs will boost adoption of technologies even farther in healthcare. An example is Innovate UK invested $269 thousand in VR and AR to encourage innovation in the industry. The United States government is also making investments into these technologies, hoping to boost cost-saving, while providing startups with opportunities to excel in the industry. The market will likely expand partially because of increased government investment and funding.

AR in training and education is expected to rise and become the fastest growing segment in the industry. Training surgeons and specialists is time consuming and expensive, but AR options can help doctors learn and perform surgeries without risk of errors. A great example of this is Touch Surgery, which is developed by Kinosis Limited and provided guided training on various procedures via an immersive experience with use of AR headgear.