The potential for virtual reality (VR) within the medical sector has been huge and seen a number of technological advancements happen here. Now, Oculus have revealed that they will be expanding their VR medical training program to reach new institutions and help bring further benefits to the sector by means of the immersive technology.
This all started last year when Oculus announced they would be partnering with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) to build a VR simulation that would efficiently and effectively train medical students and staff to respond in high-stakes, low-frequency pediatric emergencies. The training application was built within the Unity Engine in collaboration with AiSolve and BioflightVR to form the backbone of a six-month pilot study.
Now, following the initial results of the study which have turned out to be promising, CHLA is now requiring that the training be used for all incoming residents and to offer it as an optional supplement for medical students. Alongside this, Oculus are also expanding the original reach of the innovative VR research program to 11 more medical institutions and healthcare networks within the United States and beyond.
“A limitation of many outpatient offices and care centers is lack of space for simulation rooms and simulation centers,” explained principal researcher on the project Dr. Josh Sherman. “Using Oculus Go for our VR modules will allow for on-the-spot training without the need for the extra real estate.”
The Oculus Go headset will be used for the program to allow for an accessible means to deploy the VR simulation to the new institutions and healthcare provides who are now going to be participating in CHLA’s research initiative. Some of those include the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Yale New Haven Health.
“Currently, we’re only able to run critical events such as pediatric resuscitation training two to four times per year since we cannot take our teams away from patient care more frequently,” Said Kathryn Schaivone (MHA, CHSE) of Kaiser Permanente. “VR levels the playing field in a way that doesn’t happen with in-person methods and provides the flexibility for more frequent participation in simulation.”
This expansion of the research program will ensure that the data which is generated becomes more varied and useful leading to further improvements within the medical sector for pediatric emergencies. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the progress of the research program along with any updates from CHLA or Oculus, so make sure to keep reading.