Although most people still think the concept of a head transplant is entirely impossible, the truth is very different. The person responsible for carrying out this transplant is also the one who developed a virtual reality system to prepare patients for their new body. An interesting take on things. as it goes to show VR technology has quite some intriguing use cases most people would not think of at first.
VIRTUAL REALITY AND HEAD TRANSPLANTS
Not too long ago, we discussed how the world’s first-ever human head transplant will take place in December of 2017. As uncomfortable as the idea may sound, it is a trend our society may want to get used to rather quickly, assuming it can be successful in the end. That remains a big question for the time being, yet the responsible neurosurgeon is taking all of the necessary precautions to make the experience as comfortable as possible for the patient.
To be more specific, Professor Sergio Canavero has developed a virtual reality-based system that allows the patient to get acquainted with his future body. This is a crucial development, as it will be quite a shock to the patient to suddenly control a body capable of walking. It is impossible to imagine what such a patient will go through once they awake from the procedure, assuming that will happen in the first place.
The use of virtual reality technology is quite significant in this regard. After all, it gives the head transplant patient an idea of how the new dimensions of the future body will feel like. It is expected this process will lessen the shock of the actual operation itself, although it is still a mystery as to whether or not this process will make a difference. Quite an intriguing concept that is both fascinating and extremely disturbing at the same time.
The virtual reality environment is made possible thanks to the help of US firm Inventum Bioengineering Technologies. Future patients of this – or a similar – procedure can use this VR environment over the course of several months prior to their transplant. One could somewhat compare to how astronauts prepare to venture into space, albeit this is a very different matter we are talking about.
Transitioning from a paralyzed body into one that offers the full motion range can be quick a shock, to say the least. Virtual reality training can provide a lot of help in this regard, although the procedure may need to be refined over time. An unexpected psychological reaction is the last thing patient and doctor need after pulling off such a radical world’s first head transplant. It is evident Inventum Bioengineering Technologies is sparing no expenses to make this VR experience as realistic as possible.
Rest assured the world will be keeping a close eye on this head transplant. There are a lot of challenges that will need to be overcome, and there is no guarantee of success. Then again, the patient will be well-prepared for what is to come if the transplant succeeds, which is all anyone can hope for. It is by far one of the most unconventional use cases for virtual reality technology, that much is evident.