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Lifesaving VR Medical Training

By TrainBeyond | June 21, 2020

Virtual reality medical training relieves the pressure facing both students and institutions today. Using 3D virtual simulations built for any kind of healthcare environment, students can experience crucial, real-time, and high-pressure clinical situations at any educational level. 

With no risk to patients’ nor physicians’ well-being, students gain invaluable experiences responding to realistic scenarios and critical situations, long before they’re required to deal with them in real life. As a result of implementing virtual and interactive learning,  medical schools are seeing student retention rates soar. At the same time, they are seeing their maintenance and venue costs fall, simply because VR training doesn’t require a lot of space.

Near-real Simulations

Here’s the scene: a teenager is lying on a stretcher. His mother has just rushed him to the ER and she’s frantic, begging you to act quickly. The EMT comes in and tells you that he was found at home having seizures, each lasting four minutes. You have a few seconds to make a decision. Do you put an oxygen mask on him first? Or give him anti-seizure medication? His life is in your hands – and you’ve got to act fast.

Relax, this is not a real emergency, and no one’s life is really in danger. You take off your headset and step back into the real world. Instantly, you’ve gained the experience of real-time ER – feeling, seeing, hearing, and acting out an emergency scenario. These near-real simulations are how virtual reality medical training prepares the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Virtual reality technology allows immersive experiences that look and feel real, but have the added benefit of being risk-free for both patient and practitioner. During a research experiment, the repeatability and accessibility of VR medical training improved the performance of medical trainees, who spent less time in the OR, made fewer mistakes, and performed more efficiently, when compared to those who did not participate in VR training.

Paramedic VR Training

Paramedics and similar occupations can utilize Virtual Reality medical training to master lifesaving skills, confronting realistic scenarios and high-pressure situations. For example, paramedics-in-training can administer CPR and emergency allergy treatment on simulated patients, which, unlike mannequins, can respond to ‘treatments’ according to physical and time pressures. Perhaps most crucially of all, students can witness and attend car crashes and treat unique impact traumas — scenes otherwise unavailable with traditional training methods — and start mentally preparing for these types of distressing encounters.

Mastery of clinical skills is only achievable through repetition. However, treatments like a needle thoracostomy intervention are executed infrequently by paramedics, which can result in low levels of confidence when performing a lifesaving, but rarely-practiced, procedure. Virtual Reality training helps solve this problem with fully immersive and repeatable simulations that improve medical skills through repetition. 

Virtual Reality Training for Surgeons

Surgeons typically spend their first two years in lecture theaters and only get hands-on experience in their third or fourth years. At this point, they go through clinical rotations to observe operations with tens of other medical students, all in the same room. VR medical training can supplement real-world experiences and provide hands-on training that students don’t usually encounter until surgical residency, giving trainees a lasting memory with an immersive and highly interactive experience.

Surgical VR simulators have facilitated training in procedures like laparoscopy, aneurysm repair, and anterior approach hip replacement. Now, with aggregated software, simulators allow students to safely perform any kind of procedure, including operating on anatomical variations and pathological conditions. The training interface enables surgeons to ‘feel’ the tissue with haptic feedback, allowing them to grasp procedure accuracy.

Hospitals, universities, and training institutions around the globe can empower their medical training programs with virtual reality. The implementation of this technology proves cost-effective, thanks to its scalability for any number of users. Additionally, VR training solutions can interact with other applications to automatically measure items like precision, time, and procedures.

A World of Opportunity

In the medical industry, knowledge must always be fresh and decision-making skills sharp. VR training software offers a completely new way to both cultivate and refresh key medical skills; even state universities are starting to see its core benefits. 

With up-close training, these kinds of learning avenues pave the way for new ways of merging key medical knowledge with the far visceral, pragmatic experience of in-person clinical situations. Students can attain higher skills in lifesaving treatments, with cognitive learning modules repeated in 3D environments. There are no cadavers, no mannequins, and no real-life patients under any risk whatsoever, effectively and safely supplementing conventional training techniques.

Interested in a Virtual Reality medical training solution? Contact us

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