I cannot take credit for this idea myself. I recently watched the anime Sword Art Online, and my opinions on the story aside, it brought up some really interesting points on the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. There were a lot of points that caught my attention, but none more than the idea of using VR for medical use.
The show centers around a VR system that bypasses communication between the brain and the body, replacing real world stimuli with those of the virtual world. This is referred to as “full dive VR.” Enter the Medicuboid. The Medicuboid was an advanced virtual reality machine with myriad medical devices built in. The idea in the show was primarily for terminal care, but I think it could be used for much more than that.
For one thing, it could be used for surgeries, so that no anesthetic is needed. Now, in this case, it is likely that this would simply be an unnecessary expense, but many rich people would be more than happy to pay extra for it. This type of virtual reality could also be used to monitor brain activity in certain circumstances. Now, to create this technology, we would have to already understand the brain to an extent that this may be superfluous, but I can see it still being useful for either studying individual psychology or diagnosing brain diseases. It could also be a great muscle memory training tool, as well as a welcome escape for paraplegics.
I think there are a lot of unexplored aspects of this area of VR. How else do you think we could use VR for medical or other scientific uses?