Virtual Reality (VR) in Healthcare in the U.S. (Markets for Surgery, Visualization, Rehabilitation and Training)

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

What are virtual reality technologies and how are they being used in healthcare today? What areas of healthcare are seeing the most use of these products? What is the expected market opportunity for companies entering the market for VR equipment? Who are the main players in the VR market and what moves are they making to grow market share? These are among the questions answered in Kalorama Information's Virtual Reality in Healthcare in the U.S.

The use of virtual reality (VR) technologies in the U.S. healthcare industry has expanded tremendously due to extensive product development and the growing implementation of healthcare information technology (HIT) infrastructure. Virtual reality applications in the healthcare industry are associated with many leading areas of medical technology innovation including robot-assisted surgery, augmented reality (AR) surgery, computer-assisted surgery (CAS), image-guided surgery (IGS), surgical navigation, multi-modality image fusion, medical imaging 3D/4D reconstruction, pre-operative surgical planning, virtual colonoscopy, virtual surgical simulation, virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET), and VR physical rehabilitation and motor skills training. The clinical and enterprise benefits of healthcare VR technology are numerous and include improved patient outcomes, reduced medical errors, improved minimally-invasive surgical (MIS) technique, improved physician collaboration in diagnosis, and improved psychological and motor rehabilitation.

In Kalorama Information’s 2nd edition of Virtual Reality in Healthcare in the U.S., analyst Emil Salazar looks at the current and future market for commercialized VR technologies as divided on the basis of the four application areas:

  • Surgery, including surgical navigation, IGS, CAS, AR surgery, and robot-assisted surgery
  • Medical Data Visualization, including multi-modality image fusion, advanced 2D/3D/4D image reconstruction, and pre-operative planning and other advanced analytical software tools
  • Education and Training, including virtual surgical simulators and other simulators for medical patient procedures
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy, including immersive VR systems for pain management, behavioral therapy, psychological therapy, physical rehabilitation, and motor skills training

For each application area (market segment), the report details: current market size, past market sizes (2006-), growth factors and trends, and forecasts to 2015.

Additionally, this report contains a review of relevant U.S. regulation, market drivers, and market inhibitors as well as case studies for each application area and over twenty detailed company profiles for healthcare VR product manufacturers and developers.The information in Virtual Reality in U.S. Healthcare, 2nd ed. Is based on data from multiple industry associations, U.S. governmental healthcare data, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, medical journals, and trade journals.

Additional industry insights and data were obtained through interviews with executives in the healthcare VR product industry and healthcare VR technology researchers.

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Virtual Technologies Find Real Applications in Healthcare

Once representing a niche market of specialty applications, virtual reality (VR) has been integrated into a broad portfolio of healthcare activities. Vendors have successfully integrated VR into clinical IT systems, operating rooms, schools of medicine, and treatment programs for returning U.S. soldiers, according to Kalorama Information's Virtual Reality (VR) in Healthcare in the U.S.

"Virtual reality products have made a profound impact on patient outcomes and the daily workflow of physicians," says Emil Salazar, market analyst for Kalorama Information. "The once-touted and projected 'potential' of VR for healthcare has translated into operational benefits for clients and real market opportunities for original equipment manufacturers, R&D companies and medical software developers. Healthcare VR product providers are well-positioned to build upon established client markets and their sales in the U.S. healthcare industry."

According to the report, in 2010, the U.S. market for VR applications in healthcare reached approximately $670 million in sales. The market enjoyed a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10% during the 2006-2010 period. Kalorama Information projects market growth to continue at a greater rate through 2015 as equipment and technology spending recovers among U.S. healthcare service providers.

"VR products align well with several prevailing healthcare trends," notes Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "VR has become a key feature in software applications for radiology and other clinical IT systems, training on minimally-invasive surgical procedures in under-staffed departments, and the completion of those procedures in actual operating rooms."

Beyond their utility to medical professionals and diverse industry applications, the report notes that healthcare VR products are receiving increasing attention from healthcare industry suppliers. While joint development and marketing has so far been the primary mode for medical equipment manufacturers to access VR application markets, recent middle market merger and acquisition (M&A) deals have allowed companies outside of the healthcare sector to stake a claim in the matured healthcare VR market.

Virtual Reality (VR) in Healthcare in the U.S. analyzes the U.S. market in detail and provides past and current market sizes and forecasts through 2015 for each application area. Additionally, the report contains a review of relevant U.S. regulation, market drivers, market inhibitors, and case studies for each application area, as well as over twenty detailed company profiles for healthcare VR product manufacturers and developers.


  • 1.1 The Healthcare Industry
  • 1.2 Healthcare Virtual Reality Technology
  • 1.3 Market for Virtual Reality Applications in the U.S. Healthcare Industry
  • 1.4 Market Drivers and Inhibitors
    • 1.4.1 Healthcare Information Technology Deployment
    • 1.4.2 Minimally-Invasive Surgery
    • 1.4.3 U.S. Healthcare Reform
    • 1.4.4 U.S. Military Applications of VR Technology in Healthcare
    • 1.4.5 Limited Client Markets
    • 1.4.6 Lack of Industry Familiarity
    • 1.4.7 Industry Investment Priorities
  • 2.1 Healthcare Industry
    • 2.1.1 Market and Industry Overview
    • 2.1.2 Categorization of Healthcare Services
    • 2.1.3 Healthcare Industry Trends
    • 2.1.4 Healthcare Industry Challenges
  • 2.2 Virtual Reality Industry
    • 2.2.1 Virtual Reality Defined
    • 2.2.2 Industry Applications of Virtual Reality Technology
    • 2.2.3 Virtual Reality Systems
    • 2.2.4 Factors Affecting the Virtual Reality Industry
    • 2.2.5 Commercialization of Healthcare VR Products
  • 3.1 Virtual Reality Market in the U.S. Healthcare Industry
  • 3.1.1 Market Overview
  • 3.1.2 Market Size
  • 3.1.3 Market Segmentation
  • 3.2 Market for Virtual Reality Applications in Surgery
  • 3.2.1 Applications of VR in Advanced Surgical Systems and Techniques
  • 3.3 Market for Virtual Reality Applications in Medical Data Visualization
  • 3.3.1 Applications of VR in Medical Data Visualization
  • 3.4 Market for Virtual Reality Applications in Education and Training
  • 3.4.1 Applications and Benefits of VR in Education and Training
  • 3.5 Market for Virtual Reality Applications in Rehabilitation and Therapy
  • 4.1 Overall Market for VR in Healthcare
  • 4.1 Breakout by Segment
  • 5.1 CASE STUDIES: Virtual Reality in Rehabilitation and Therapy
    • 5.1.1 Virtual Reality Exposure Treatment (VRET) of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • 5.1.2 Pain Management through Immersive Virtual Reality
  • 5.2 CASE STUDIES: Virtual Reality in The Visualization of Medical Data
    • 5.2.1 Virtual Colonoscopy Aids Patient Gastrointestinal Screening
    • 5.2.2 Trauma Injury Analysis with 3D Imaging
  • 5.3 CASE STUDIES: Virtual Reality in Surgery
    • 5.3.1 Multi-modality Neuroimaging for Surgical Planning and Intra-Operative Navigation
    • 5.3.2 Intra-Operative Image-Guided Surgery for Spinal Procedures
  • 5.4 CASE STUDY: Virtual Reality in Education and Training
    • 5.4.1 Use of Virtual Reality Reality Procedure Rehearsal for Carotid Artery Stenting
    • 5.4.2 Virtual Surgical Simulators Improve Performance on Unfamiliar Procedures
  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 International Standards Organization
  • 6.3 U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • 6.4 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
    • 6.4.1 Privacy Rule
    • 6.4.2 Security Rule
  • 6.5 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act
  • 6.6 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • 6.7 The Enhancing SIMULATION Act of 2009
  • 7.1 First Conclusion
  • 7.2 Second Conclusion
  • 7.3 Third Conclusion
  • 7.4 Fourth Conclusion
  • 7.5 Fifth Conclusion
  • 7.6 Sixth Conclusion
  • 7.7 Seventh Conclusion
  • 8.1 Ascension Technology Corporation
    • 8.1.1 Company Overview
    • 8.1.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.1.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.1.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.2 Brainlab
    • 8.2.1 Company Overview
    • 8.2.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.2.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.2.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.3 CAE
    • 8.3.1 Company Overview
    • 8.3.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.3.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.3.4 Performance Review
    • 8.3.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.4 Carl Zeiss Meditec
    • 8.4.1 Company Overview
    • 8.4.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.4.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.4.4 Performance Review
    • 8.4.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.5 Fifth Dimension
    • 8.5.1 Company Overview
    • 8.5.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.5.3 Healthcare VR Products
  • 8.6 Force Dimension
    • 8.6.1 Company Overview
    • 8.6.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.6.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.6.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.7 GE Healthcare
    • 8.7.1 Company Overview
    • 8.7.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.7.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.7.4 Performance Review
  • 8.8 Hansen Medical
    • 8.8.1 Company Overview
    • 8.8.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.8.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.8.4 Performance Review
    • 8.8.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.9 Immersion Corporation
    • 8.9.1 Company Overview
    • 8.9.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.9.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.9.4 Performance Review
    • 8.9.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.10 Intuitive Surgical
    • 8.10.1 Company Overview
    • 8.10.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.10.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.10.4 Performance Review
    • 8.10.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.11 InWorld Solutions
    • 8.11.1 Company Overview
    • 8.11.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.11.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.11.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.12 Medtronic
    • 8.12.1 Company Overview
    • 8.12.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.12.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.12.4 Performance Review
    • 8.12.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.13 Mentice
    • 8.13.1 Company Overview
    • 8.13.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.13.3 Healthcare VR Products
  • 8.14 Merge Healthcare
    • 8.14.1 Company Overview
    • 8.14.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.14.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.14.4 Performance Review
    • 8.14.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.15 Motek Medical
    • 8.15.1 Company Overview
    • 8.15.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.15.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.15.4 Recent Development
  • 8.16 NDI
    • 8.16.1 Company Overview
    • 8.16.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.16.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.16.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.17 Philips Healthcare
    • 8.17.1 Company Overview
    • 8.17.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.17.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.17.4 Performance Review
    • 8.17.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.18 Siemens Healthcare
    • 8.18.1 Company Overview
    • 8.18.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.18.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.18.4 Performance Review
  • 8.19 Simbionix
    • 8.19.1 Company Overview
    • 8.19.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.19.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.19.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.20 Stryker
    • 8.20.1 Company Overview
    • 8.20.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.20.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.20.4 Performance Review
    • 8.20.5 Recent Developments
  • 8.21 TeraRecon
    • 8.21.1 Company Overview
    • 8.21.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.21.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.21.4 Recent Developments
  • 8.22 Virtually Better
    • 8.22.1 Company Overview
    • 8.22.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.22.3 Healthcare VR Products
  • 8.23 Vital Images
    • 8.23.1 Company Overview
    • 8.23.2 Industry Presence and Operations
    • 8.23.3 Healthcare VR Products
    • 8.23.4 Performance Review
    • 8.23.5 Recent Developments

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