Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

VR: The New Standard for Training Healthcare Professionals?

We are often told that “practice makes perfect”. If this is the case, then our historical reliance on textbooks and manuals to properly educate and prepare people to do real jobs is ineffective and unfounded. Luckily, the rapid development of VR (virtual reality) technologies has created many opportunities for industries to ditch theory, discussion and textbooks while training professionals, and instead adopt VR video games as creative alternatives to traditional training methods. For example, Isobar’s Common Ground VR game simulates what it is like to live with visual disabilities such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. By allowing people without these disabilities to experience the effects that the disability has on them, Isobar expects healthcare professionals gain a better understanding of the conditions with VR assistance than without it. As a result of this newfound understanding, professionals will create better ways of accommodating and treating individuals with the condition.

VR can also help aspiring healthcare professionals practice interactions with patients, and increase the effectiveness of these interactions in the workplace. For example, Kognito’s simulation game allows users to discuss substance abuse with a virtual patient, help a student who suffers from psychological distress navigate their issues, and even allows users to practice responding to patients who doesn’t comply with medication instructions.

VR has many obstacles to overcome before it can achieve rapid mainstream adoption, but it is well on its way. Do you feel that it is only a matter of time before VR takes over as the standard for training all professionals?

For more information see: 

3 Responses to VR: The New Standard for Training Healthcare Professionals?

  • Hey Ian– I really enjoyed this piece. Using virtual reality for medical training is huge and definitely one of the more beneficial ways to use VR. Almost everything in the medical profession requires practice rather than simply memorizing terms from a textbook and hoping you can convey it to the field. Personally, I think VR will become big for training in the industries and companies that can afford it! I’d say that, right now, it’s still pretty expensive to implement VR for training purposes. But I’m sure that as time moves forward, it will become more ready available and affordable for all different kinds of manual training. As always, I’m interested to see what the world will be like in those times. Great article!

  • Ian:
    This post really made me interested about how VR can improve the intense, hands-on, training jobs like one of a surgeon requires. Using virtual reality for training health professionals is most certainly a great invention. Hands on experience and throwing life’s challenges at medical professionals gives them experience nothing else can. I like to think about possible jobs this idea can impact such as police or military training.

  • The use of VR in training medical professionals is one of the best uses I have yet seen for the technology. From firsthand experience, I can say practice is essential to training prospective medical professionals. I have been a patient in a University Dental Program, getting a routine checkup and teeth cleaning. The experience was a bit unnerving to say the least. The appointment process that seems so simple and quick at a conventional dentist’s office, made me question whether they were teaching them anything! From the dental student jabbing me with his tools to questioning himself and his instructor through the whole process, I wondered if there was a better way to prepare him for an actual patient. Alas, VR could be the answer to so many practical training techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *