When looking ahead at the key developments in digital health for 2018, two trends stand out: Virtual Visits and VR.

We spoke to experts and executives at CES in Las Vegas to learn whether 2018 could be the year virtual health goes mainstream.

“There’s definitely a lot of indication that’s going to happen,” said Dr. David Rhew, head of healthcare and fitness at Samsung Electronics America.

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently allowed reimbursements for telemedicine visits. With this, we’re obtaining more data to now learn how you can capture and analyze remote patient monitoring information. Samsung is doing several things in the telemedicine space, including a partnership with American Well and virtual visits through the Ask an Expert platform.

Imagining New Realities in Pain Management

“VR is a really exciting area,” said Dr. Rhew. “We see this not only as a great way to entertain, distract [and] train, but it could potentially be used as a therapeutic tool.”

In the last few years, VR has received attention as a treatment for pain, anxiety and stress. And in coming years, practitioners will explore how the technology can be leveraged to treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, strokes, macular degeneration and even spinal cord injury.

Tremendous opportunities for understanding exist within the realm of health innovation. As technologies grow more sophisticated, Samsung continues to work with organizations to validate how virtual visits and VR can be used to improve the lives of patients with serious medical conditions.

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