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Virtual Reality as a Substitute for Anesthesia?

While the idea of using virtual reality (VR) tools in medical training and patient treatment has been around since the inception of the technology, Dr. José Luis Mosso Vazquez, research professor at the Universidad Panamericana and accomplished surgeon, has been actively using VR in surgery for over a decade already. After purchasing his son a low-tech VR game featuring Spiderman back in 2004, Dr. Vasquez realized the tech’s potential for immersion and distraction.

Since many areas of Mexico lack access to the latest medical technology and professionals, ailments requiring surgery can be prohibitively expensive for patients. Even in Mexico City the hospitals are considered to be largely underfunded, so surgical suites may be under-equipped or understaffed.

Dr. Vasquez’s virtual reality solution allows surgery to be performed using only local anesthetics while the patient’s attention is focused on an immersive digital experience. In geographically difficult to reach areas, this innovative surgical approach has helped many hundreds of patients to date.