Teaching & Learning

Implementation of Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Individuals, companies, businesses, and educational institutions use virtual reality to create simulated environments and achieve their specific goals.


Individuals, companies, businesses, and educational institutions use virtual reality to create simulated environments and achieve their specific goals. Virtual reality requires wearing a headset or head-mounted display device to experience the simulation.

Thus, VR offers unique and close-to-reality-like simulations than traditional graphical interfaces. Besides, virtual reality ensures medical and allied health students are in a completely immersive environment and experience simulations close to real-life scenarios.

Many allied health and medical institutions find it challenging to make the most out of VR-based simulation systems because they don’t understand how to implement the system effectively. Today's article will give you some practical tips to get the job done adequately and reliably. Read on!

Although VR-based simulation systems are expensive, they can benefit medical institutions and surgery schools, allowing students to leverage the technology and improve their learning outcomes.

Training allied health and medical students has become a massive challenge for health institutions due to a lack of knowledge of cutting-edge technologies like VR-based medical simulations, serious games, gamification features, cloud-based system, and big data analytics.  

Conventional training methods primarily depend on costly in-person laboratories and operating rooms, which are much more challenging in this fast-paced technology world.

However, advances in medical technologies have led to the development of new treatments/therapies/surgical techniques, making it even harder for institutions to keep the pace.

VR-based medical simulations can address various challenges, especially when it is difficult for medical schools and colleges to invest in devices, robotics, and manikins. Here are a few tips for implementing virtual reality in healthcare education.

Define Goals

Immersive VR-based medical education is an entirely different approach for students. Therefore, define a flexible strategy and goals before implementing the VR-based medical learning program in the institution.

Make sure your learning objectives, students 'expectations, and desired outcomes are clear. Otherwise, you may not achieve the desired goals. Create a thorough plan and strategy and ensure each administration team member understands the regulatory implications.

Focus on the Onboarding Process

Immersive technologies like VR and AR are effective learning tools for allied health and medical students, allowing them to engage more with the course content and improve their learning outcomes.

However, VR simulation systems are daunting and time-consuming for new students to understand and interact with, causing a degree of confusion. Therefore, the institution must develop a thorough and step-by-step onboarding process for learners to feel safe and understand the efficacy of VR.

Give students simple instructions or a manual on how the headset works, what to expect in the immersive VR experience, and how to manage the situation if they feel uncomfortable during the training.

In addition, you must also understand how to guide allied health and medical students through immersive experiences. For instance, you can give them an easy-to-understand avatar guide for navigation.

Make it User Oriented

Most allied health and medical institutions partner with private simulation centers to teach medical students and improve their clinical skills. However, when implementing a simulation system on-premises, you need to make it user-oriented based on students’ IT knowledge, skill level, and tech training.

Integrate VR with Conventional Methods

Immersive VR-based simulations effectively improve student outcomes and let them experience real-life scenarios, but these are not magic tools. In other words, they are not a quick fix to resolve each issue or challenge in medical training. So, instead of replacing the conventional methods, you should integrate VR with them to see how it complements learning and add value.

Consider the Costs

Last but not least, costs are an essential factor to consider before implementing a VR-based simulation systemin your medical institution.

The cost of hardware, such as headsets, software programs, or applications like pre-recorded videos, real-time interactive gamification features, and especially content development can cost alot of money.

Similarly, aligning VR-based simulations with the course curriculum requires the time and expertise of learning design experts.

 

 

Sources:

·       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039818/

·       https://hcommons.org/deposits/view/hc:42448/CONTENT/implementation-of-virtual-reality.pdf/

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