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Virtual reality and digital therapy in the healthcare industry

Digital therapy healthcare

Virtual reality and immersive virtual reality have revolutionized the way patients are treated during their recovery process and the approaches therapists have been adapting to offer the best medical service.

Due to the high demand for rehabilitation treatments, the high costs of conventional therapies, and the lack of space to perform the exercises, among other limitations, is that the health industry has been forced to integrate new technologies to meet the existing demand.

Below, find out in this article how virtual reality and digital therapy are making their way into the healthcare field. Discover all the information on the socio-economic context of rehabilitation through virtual reality, market data on rehabilitation in Canada during 2020 and 2021, as well as information on professionals working in the field of rehabilitation in the North American country.

General information on the digital therapy market

información sobre terapia digital

According to a scientific paper, What is the cost of including virtual reality in neurological rehabilitation? The inclusion of virtual reality in neurological rehabilitation saves costs due to the change in the interaction between therapist and patient in both outpatient and inpatient/home settings.

The additional cost of the virtual reality equipment is recovered through a reduction in the therapist's costs compared to those of the usual care group. In other words, the therapist can see more patients; a ratio of 1/4 per therapist and supervise remotely.

The total cost savings over two years if only one-third of stroke patients are treated with virtual reality is US $986; the savings magnifies to US $9,023 if half of all stroke patients are treated with specialized virtual reality.

Home therapy delivered via virtual reality compared to conventional in-clinic therapy showed similar improvements in balance and mobility, but the VR program cost US $654.72 less per patient.

Virtual reality is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and experiencing significant growth in the global market. In the following bullet points, discover key data highlighting the impact of virtual reality on the healthcare sector:

  • Global extended reality market: the global virtual reality market is projected to reach $12 billion by 2024.

  • Expected growth in software segment revenue: the software segment is expected to have the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.0% from 2022 to 2030.

  • Expansion of virtual reality and augmented reality in healthcare: virtual rehabilitation is a key focus in medicine, driven by the opportunity for advanced progress monitoring, remote-controlled rehabilitation, and increased patient motivation.

  • The Prominent role of virtual reality in healthcare and medicine: the virtual rehabilitation market was worth $336.90 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $1,134.76 million by 2027.

Virtual reality is completely transforming healthcare delivery and opening up a world of possibilities for improving patient well-being.

Case study: market intelligence on Rehabilitation in Canada in 2020 and 2021

información de mercado realidad virtual inmersiva

To understand a little more in detail about why it is important to integrate digital therapy into motor rehabilitation, we provide below key and relevant data about the state of rehabilitation in Canada during the years 2020 and 2021.

  • The main cause of hospitalizations for rehabilitation

A total of 34,336 people were hospitalized for rehabilitation in Canada. According to the study conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the leading cause of hospitalizations was for orthopedic conditions, with 9,090 hospitalizations, followed by stroke, with 7,591 hospitalizations. This represents almost 50% of all hospitalizations for rehabilitation.

  • People over the age of 65 are the most susceptible to using rehabilitation.

The same study above explains that a total of 25,818 hospitalizations were recorded in the over-65 age group, representing 73% of all hospitalizations for rehabilitation. This represents a high occupancy in hospitals and centers that could be optimized through digital therapy.

  • The economic impact of stroke on society

Also, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation study, more than 400,000 people in Canada are living with the consequences of stroke. At the same time, stroke in the Canadian economy is costing an estimated $3.6 billion per year in health care expenses.

  • Upper extremities are commonly affected after a stroke

Upper extremity impairment occurs in up to 85% of patients who survive a stroke, significantly affecting their quality of life.

Recovery of upper extremity motor function is crucial for the performance of activities of daily living, as many of these tasks require the coordinated use of both hands. Therefore, digital therapy could significantly reduce the recovery process of patients, when intensive treatment is performed more periodically and with meaningful objects.

The economic impact of stroke on society is significant, and rehabilitation becomes crucial to improve the quality of life of survivors. The importance of reaching the larger stroke population and increasing the dose of rehabilitation for better outcomes is very important for the well-being of patients, and telerehabilitation makes this goal possible.


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