You could be excused for not noticing the $2bn acquisition of Oculus Rift VR by Facebook recently – particularly in light of the fact that this deal was dwarfed by Facebook’s purchase of the instant messaging service, WhatsApp, in February for a staggering £19bn.
However, this news signified something more than just another big tech deal.
If you don’t know (and I can only imagine your embarrassment if you don’t!) Oculus Rift VR is a company pioneering virtual reality (VR) technology. The “Rift” – the abbreviation for the kit the company makes – is a headset that enables the user to be immersed into a 3D environment where, by simply by moving their head, they can change their viewpoint a full 360 degrees.
So what’s the relevance to healthcare, you might ask?
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, admits that the initial appeal is in gaming but, in the announcement on his website, looks to the many other opportunities this technology might afford us: “We’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court-side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”
To read more and learn about some of the examples where virtual reality is being used in healthcare, check out the new PharmaTimes TechnoBlog by Dom Marchant (@DJMSolutions), managing director of DJM Digital Solutions, here.