Virtual Reality Helps Doctors in Local Health Care

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Virtual reality has taken video games to a whole new level of entertainment. It has also proven essential in creating simulators to train pilots, astronauts, and even the Navy. Now, the technology is making great strides in local health care, and it's helping doctors in all new ways.

"Instead of a patient having to have a colonoscopy, they can now right away come see us," said St. Joseph Regional Health Center Imaging Services Technician Carrie Wick. "We can do a virtual colonoscopy where they're kind of the same thing but you're wide awake while you have all these procedures done."

All of this is now possible through a new high-tech workstation that allows doctors and technicians to use information from CT scans in a whole new way: by creating a virtual flight, where medical professionals can travel into the depths of an organ.

"We can actually do a fly-through where we can go into the actual colon and see the colon and work our way through it like a little camera going through it to see if there is any lesions, or any kind of mass that shouldn't be there," Wick said.

Officials say not only does the new system provide more information than ever before but it also allows doctors to view critical data from anywhere in the world.

"What's great about this is that any physician is able to use any PC anywhere and they're able to look at the images anywhere and they can see them as we're doing them and taking them, " Wick said.

The new workstation allows doctors to see a beating heart at the click of a button, providing crucial information that can cut down procedure times.