Virtual reality (VR) gained popularity as an entertainment tool but has developed into an innovative platform for education and collaboration. The adoption of VR for educational purposes has resulted in immersive, engaging, and effective learning experiences. With VR, trainees and students gain deeper understanding of materials and can increasingly translate their learning into real-life situations.
VR in education can be divided into two main tracks: educational curriculum and workplace training. Practical applications of VR for learning purposes include:
Virtual Field Trips – A common use of VR, virtual field trips offer learners the ability to visit distant or physically inaccessible places virtually. Students can be immersed in the Uffizi Renaissance art gallery in Italy or explore underwater at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. These virtual field trips provide an immersive learning experience to places students may not otherwise be able to visit.
Special Education – VR has been useful in providing students with disabilities greater opportunities to learn and participate. Programs for children with Autism spectrum disorder have been successful at nurturing social skills for these students. Additionally, VR has enabled people with physical disabilities to study and explore the world comfortably through VR headsets.
Immersive Classrooms – VR provides a safe and cost-effective environment to practice simulated tasks that may be too risky to perform in the real world. From learning procedural skills such as machine maintenance to engaging in chemistry experiments, students can augment their learning experience while in and out of the classroom through VR.
Medical Training – Medical trainees learn medical and surgical procedures, either through simulated learning or real-time immersive learning. Real-time learning with expert mentors helps trainees reach proficiency faster, make fewer errors, and provides more consistency.1 VR enables doctors, nurses, and medical professionals to prepare, practice, and improve their skills.
Distance Learning – With VR, distance learning becomes more convenient and can provide a sense of presence. For situations in which an expert is geographically far from trainees, VR can allow the learners to interact with an expert as if in the same room. VR provides the platform to bring learners and teachers together in the same space when travel is not an option.
Why Choose Immertec for VR Medical Training?
As a medical technology company, Immertec provides clinicians with an option for remote, real-time medical and surgical procedure training in virtual reality. Its MedOptic VR platform enables surgeons or medical professionals to continue their learning, remotely connecting from anywhere in the world.
The company has built a technology that works in the same way physicians are taught: learning procedures in a live operating room. Remote physicians put on VR headsets and are transported into an operating room (OR) where they learn modern surgical procedures. They are then able to observe the surgical or medical technique and ask questions in the moment. The VR platform’s intuitive design and real-time connectivity make it easy for training surgeons to experience training sessions as if they were physically present in the OR.
Immertec also helps surgeons and medical device companies cut training overhead costs and gives time back to surgeons so they can focus on patient care. As Dr. Ryan Hutchinson, Assistant Professor of Urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, stated, “While traditional methods of training experience result in high overheads and administrative burdens, using Immertec provides instant immersive training without the need to transport personnel.” Hutchinson has more than 30 articles published in peer-reviewed publications, and serves as a reviewer for Urologic Oncology, Urology, Journal of Urology, and European Urology.
Immertec’s virtual reality surgical training model results in reduction of burdens for already overworked surgeons, increased adoption of novel medical devices, faster product rollouts, fewer surgeon travel expenses, lower hospital infection rates, and a more consistent standard of care for patients.
About Dr. Shannon Bailey
Dr. Shannon K. T. Bailey earned her Ph.D. in Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and has over 10 years of experience developing training simulations and educational games. Before joining Immertec, she was a Research Psychologist at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) in Orlando, FL.
Dr. Bailey’s research examines effective instructional techniques in adaptive training, virtual reality, spatial ability, gesture-based technology interaction, and natural user interfaces. Her research has resulted in peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Human Factors and Cognitive Processing, as well as a co-authored book chapter and award-winning conference proceedings papers on training effectiveness. Dr. Bailey received the 2016 RADM Lewis Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education award.