When hospice nurse Laurie McKay arrived at the emergency room, her patient — a man in his early 60s with terminal cancer and now a fractured hip — told her: “I knew you would be coming someday, but today my wife and I were supposed to be getting on a cruise ship.” McKay, who is chief nursing educator for Continuum Care Hospice based in the San Francisco Bay Area, didn’t want the couple to miss out on that last cruise to Alaska together, so she turned to a tool that Continuum had started using with its patients — virtual reality. She made an appointment to visit the couple once they were back at home. Using Samsung Gear VR headsets and Google Earth VR, she’d mapped out all the ports the cruise would have stopped at, giving the couple the 360-degree views of ocean, waterfalls and ice caves they might have had in person. McKay also showed the man his childhood home in the present day, and the marina in California where the boat he’d been working on was docked. “These were experiences he thought he would never be able to see completed,” McKay said. Now playing: Watch this: Bucket lists get checked off in VR 1:42 While you might think of virtual reality as something used for games and marketing gimmicks, it’s also found its way into a variety of other industries, including health care. The virtual reality market for health care alone is supposed to hit $6.91 billion by… [Read full story]
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