Medicine Meets Virtual Reality was conceived in 1991 to explore the healthcare utilization of rapidly evolving computing and communications technologies. Physicians, educators, scientists, and engineers gathered to assess how patient care and medical education could be enhanced by increasingly powerful and affordable computers and the newly emerging Internet. Each specialty brought its own skills and experience. By identifying and nurturing collaborative objectives, they understood that revolutionary tools could be created and existing practices transformed.
During the following two decades, the curriculum expanded beyond virtual reality to encompass a broad range of future-looking healthcare technologies. NextMed / MMVR continued to unite experienced researchers with tomorrow's leaders while they shared current breakthroughs and strategized new directions. Their multidisciplinary expertise generated a unique perspective on what's now and what's next in medicine.
NextMed / MMVR was an international conference that welcomed the participation of:
- Physicians and other medical professionals interested in computer-enabled advances that make patient care more effective, accurate, and affordable
- IT engineers and medical device developers who needed to understand caregivers' needs in order to direct projects toward the best outcome
- Medical educators and students involved with the transfer of knowledge to the next generation of physicians and fellow providers
- Military medicine specialists addressing the special demands of battlefield care and warrior rehabilitation
- Biomedical futurists, investors, policy-makers, and others who created and evaluated scenarios for healthcare's future
NextMed / MMVR promoted the creation and adoption of IT-enabled tools for patient care and medical education that support better precision, efficiency, and outcomes. The curriculum combined traditional assessment methods with unorthodox problem-solving to stimulate forward-thinking solutions to healthcare problems.
Presentations were chosen to educate participants on:
- Advances in simulation, modeling, and haptics that are upgrading medical education, skills training, psychotherapy, and physical rehabilitation
- Novel imaging, visualization, and data fusion methods that make clinical diagnosis and therapy more precise and personalized
- Robotics and sensors that extend the caregiver's reach and provide richer patient data
- Medical intelligence networks that promote a collaborative healthcare environment and enhance decision-making
- Broader goals, accomplishments, and challenges in the development and application of emerging healthcare technologies