Virtual/Augmented Reality in Healthcare – Thematic Research

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have been traditionally associated with the entertainment industry, with virtual and immersive environments used for gamers, product designers, and architects. However, increasing healthcare expenditure and the need for cutting-edge technologies to aid the development of novel therapies and diagnostics have fueled the need for this technology in the healthcare industry. As the technology advances and with the availability of cheaper, more user-friendly VR/AR headsets, the barriers to its widespread use in healthcare are beginning to fall. While still in the early stages of adoption, there are myriad possibilities for VR/AR technology in the healthcare sector, including medical education, image-guided treatment, the treatment of neuropsychological conditions, and visual impairment, as well as use in rehabilitation.

In the healthcare space, VR technology has been used for many years to train surgeons for high-risk invasive procedures, but the high cost, size, and complexity of VR surgical simulators have generally restricted their widespread use. The recent availability of cheaper VR/AR headsets and smart glasses and the ability to use VR/AR applications on smartphones has opened opportunities in the medical space. This is particularly evident for medical education and image-guided surgery, with many companies developing applications for use with VR/AR headsets. In the therapy space, VR/AR technology is an attractive alternative to pharmacological intervention and is more cost-effective and less time-consuming for patients, healthcare professionals (HCPs), and primary carers involved. Most activity seen to date has been for neuropsychological conditions, with applications available or in development to treat autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, phobias, addiction, pain, stress, and anxiety. VR/AR applications are also being used in vision impairment and rehabilitation, as well as offering solutions to the drug discovery process.


The Virtual and Augmented reality in Healthcare report provides an assessment of the key healthcare, macroeconomic, technology, and regulatory themes impacting how VR/AR technologies are being used in healthcare today, and how this technology is expected to affect the healthcare sector in the future.

Components of the report include:

• Key Industry Players – the big players in the VR/AR industry and where they sit in the value chain.

• Trends in the VR/AR space – key trends driving the adoption of the VR/AR technologies classified into four key categories: blockchain use case trends, technology themes, macroeconomic themes and regulatory themes.

• Industry Analysis and Impact of AR/VR in Healthcare – key VR/AR applications in the healthcare industry including case studies demonstrating how healthcare industry is using VR/AR technology for improved outcomes.

• Value Chain – VR/AR implementation and integration in the healthcare industry, highlighting the market drivers and barriers.

Reasons to buy

Develop and design your corporate strategies through an in-house expert analysis of the key VR/AR applications impacting the healthcare industry.

Develop business strategies by understanding how VR/AR is being used in the healthcare today and how this technology is expected to affect the healthcare sector in the future.

Stay up to date on the industry’s big players in the VR/AR industry and where they sit in the value chain.

Identify emerging industry trends to gain a competitive advantage.

Table of Contents

1 Table of Contents

1.1 List of Tables

1.2 List of Figures

2 Industry Players

3 Industry Trends

3.1 Healthcare Use Case Themes

3.2 Macroeconomic Themes

3.3 Technology Themes

3.4 Regulatory Themes

4 Industry Analysisy

4.1 Market Size and Growth Forecasts

4.2 Unmet Needs

4.3 Market Drivers

4.4 Market Barriers

4.5 Mergers, Acquisitions & Partnerships

4.6 Timeline

4.7 Healthcare Case Studies

5 Value Chain

5.1 Device Layer

5.2 Application Layer

6 Companies Section

6.1 Tech Companies: Headsets/Smart Glasses

6.2 Companies: Healthcare Applications

7 Glossary

8 Appendix: Our “Thematic” Research Methodology

8.1 Bibliography

8.2 Traditional Thematic Research Does a Poor Job of Picking Winners and Losers

8.3 Introducing GlobalData’s Thematic Engine

8.4 This Is How It Works

8.5 How Our Research Reports Fit into Our Overall Research Methodology

8.6 About GlobalData

8.7 About the Authors

8.8 Contact Us

8.9 Disclaimer

List of Tables

Table 1: VR/AR in Healthcare Use Case Trends

Table 2: Macroeconomic Themes

Table 3: Technology Themes

Table 4: Regulatory Themes

Table 5: M&As in the Healthcare VR/AR Space

Table 6: Partnerships in the VR/AR Healthcare Space

Table 7: VR, AR, and MR HMDs by Type

Table 8: Examples of Healthcare Applications That Are Used With VR/AR/MR HMDs

Table 9: Examples of Top VR/AR Applications Available for Smartphones and Tablets

Table 10: Examples of VR/AR/MR Applications Available from Pharma

Table 11: Tech Companies: Headsets/Smart Glasses

Table 12: Companies: Healthcare Applications

Table 13: Glossary

List of Figures

Figure 1: Who Are the Leaders and Challengers in VR/AR in the Healthcare Industry?

Figure 2: The Top Five Vendors Commanded More Than 80% of the VR Headset Market in 2018

Figure 3: In 2018, Microsoft and Google Accounted for a Quarter of the AR Hardware Market

Figure 4: VR/AR Hardware and Software 2025 Forecasts

Figure 5: In 2025, VR Software Will Have Highest Market Share (top); $5B From Healthcare Software (bottom)

Figure 6: Unmet Needs in the Healthcare Space That Can Be Addressed by VR/AR Technologies

Figure 7: Timeline

Figure 8: Osso VR Software Training Simulation Module (left); HoloAnatomy App Using Microsoft’s HoloLens (right)

Figure 9: Alzheimer’s Research UK’s A Walk Through Dementia (left); GSK’s The Migraine Experience (right)

Figure 10: Cognoa’s Superpower Glass (left); the Superpower Glass Intervention (right)

Figure 11: AccuVein AR Technology with Vein Illumination Technology

Figure 12: GameChange VR Hardware (left), and a Simulation Example of the Program (right)

Figure 13: Prescription Digital Therapeutics Platforms Supporting Web, Mobile, and VR for Mental Health Treatment

Figure 14: Nanome Platform for Drug Discovery Using Molecular Modeling Software

Figure 15: VR/AR Value Chain

Figure 16: The VR/AR Value Chain: Headsets

Figure 17: The VR/AR Value Chain: Healthcare Applications by Use

Figure 18: Five-Step Approach for Generating a Sector Scorecard


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