Creating Meaningful VR Learning Experiences

More than 20 members of the Jump Simulation team got the opportunity to present at the 2018 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH). The annual conference is the largest gathering of simulation health care professionals in the world. It’s an event where more than 2500 hundred attendees can learn best practices from each other, find areas for collaboration and hear about the latest industry specific products.

The newly-created Medical Visualization team at Jump was among the many to show off its work. Our group, comprised of specialists in 3D modeling, video and animation, software and game development and instructional design, was created to build upon the portfolio of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content produced by Jump Simulation. With the proposition to help innovate in medical education, the MedVis team is exploring new ways VR can be utilized for clinical training.

Project ZD

Like many jobs, new clinicians typically go through orientation before beginning their real duties. For some, that can take weeks to complete. That inspired Jump Simulation to investigate a VR-based medical environment orientation that could get clinicians comfortable in the space they are working in before they actually start seeing patients.

As a test case, the MedVis group developed a virtual replica of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit within the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the span of roughly two weeks. The VR environment provides the framework for orientation to the NICU environment where clinicians can explore and interact with various tools such as Bili Lights that are used to treat newborn jaundice, an incubator that provides controlled temperature for premature infants and other interactive objects typically found in a NICU.

The level of realism the MedVis team was able to create in such a short amount of time and with a limited budget has encouraged Jump Simulation to move forward with developing these types of experiences to enhance medical education and pursue research opportunities into the value of VR-based learning.

What’s Next?

The first medical curriculum opportunity selected for VR adaptation will focus on familiarizing medical students with a typical operating room and some key processes they must learn. Based directly off curriculum executed within simulations at Jump, medical students will learn how to properly sterilize before entering the OR, dress in surgical attire and navigate the sterile field.

A goal is to also include synchronous interaction allowing facilitators outside of VR to communicate with learners and control certain parameters to create uniquely tuned learning experiences. The desire is to ensure objectivity without too much predictability.

The OR Orientation VR Simulation is expected to be ready for learner beta testing this spring. Future development will target the need for innovative and potentially more-effective learning methodologies.

Categories: Augmented Reality (AR), Blog, Clinical Simulation, Medical Visualization, Virtual Reality (VR)