Samsung is moving into the health care business as the company just signed an agreement with Gangnam Severance Hospital and VR content maker FNI to work on VR based mental health diagnosis programs.
Given then influx of VR’s popularity and usage for similar purposes around the world including Australia’s Medibank launching an immersive VR experience for hospitals in the region, Samsung has decided to commercialize on this opportunity as well.
The tech giant aims to commercialize these VR programs, built using Samsung’s Gear VR headset, FNI’s content development expertise and hospital’s medical data, in 2018. The plan is to initially launch these programs for mental health institutes including hospitals and dementia centres before expanding them for home usage.
According to Samsung, the main goal of this initiative is to provide cognitive behavioral therapies for individuals with a high risk of suicide to prevent such incidents while also providing psychological assessment for better future care of said individuals.
For that very reason, the companies will not just work on softwares but also make physical products such as chairs and diagnosis kits, both of which use VR technology, to go alongside an AI assisted app, powered by AI based virtual assistant Bixby, that helps with the patient assessment.
While a lot of companies have been diving into the VR well to improve life experiences, this is Samsung’s biggest move yet involving their Gear VR headset as well as other products including the Gear S3 smartwatch and the S health app to create an interconnected ecosystem which should facilitate patients of varying degrees of dementia and other mental health issues.
Considering that Samsung’s name is involved in this situation, these new VR products should also have a more widespread acceptance as VR awareness grows globally and numerous institutes adopt the technology to help patients counter loneliness, isolation and provide better end-of-life care for the elderly.