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VR for Healthcare Education: 3 Impressive Applications

Here at AppClinic, we’re always on the lookout for innovative applications of new technologies for healthcare and medical learning- which means we’re all quite excited about the affordances of virtual reality as a tool for healthcare education. VR feels real, allowing for embodied, presence-inducing learning experiences simply unmatched by any other digital medium. Want to learn more about some of the most impressive applications of VR for healthcare training our team has seen to date? Check out the resources below:

New Neuroanatomy Lab Bridges Virtual Reality, Operating Room

Stanford School of Medicine

Bridging the conceptual gap between simulations and real-life operating rooms, Stanford Department of Neurosurgery’s VR anatomy lab allows neurosurgery trainees to explore and manipulate 3-D renditions of complex brain structures in immersive virtual reality. Featuring custom software (dubbed “Surgical Theater”) that lets view more than 500 VR models of complex neurosurgical cases, Stanford reports that the simulation lab—which launched in 2016—has already become a key component of their resident education and clinical practice. [READ MORE]

How VR is Revolutionizing the Way Future Doctors are Learning About Our Bodies

University of California, San Francisco

Imagine using your hands to effortlessly manipulate a 3-D cadaver, peeling back layers of anatomy to reveal new layers and structures. For students at UC San Francisco, this is reality thanks to an innovative virtual reality pilot program designed to help bridge the gap between hands-on anatomy training and traditional textbook learning. Using the VR-enabled simulations, medical students are able to explore the relationships between muscles, nerves, and organs by removing and examining various layers at their own pace, similar in feel to piecing together a puzzle. Instructors report improved engagement among students who have tried the VR simulations, and have already begun planning additional future uses of the technology for their program. [READ MORE]

Immersive Education: CHLA and Oculus Expand VR Medical Training Program to New Institutions

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Back in 2017, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) teamed up with VR headset manufacturer Oculus to launch a pilot program designed to test the validity of VR as a platform for medical training. CHLA worked in collaboration with AiSolve and BioflightVR to create a VR simulation that trained medical students and staff how to respond to high-stakes, yet uncommon pediatric emergencies – and the results of the pilot study were so compelling that CHLA has since made the VR training mandatory for all incoming residents. [READ MORE]

Which of the above case studies did you find to be the most intriguing? Have you had the chance to try virtual reality yourself? Or maybe your organization has already begun experimenting with VR for learning and training? No matter your level of familiarity with the medium, we’d love to hear from you – get in touch with our team today!

James LaPierre