The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has developed what it claims is the world’s first fully interactive virtual reality training simulator.
The simulator app – entitled the RCSI VR Medical Training Sim – allows users to simulate emergency-room management with a patient following a road accident.
The app puts medical professionals and trainees in the shoes of the emergency department trauma team leader where they must assess the patient, make life-or-death decisions in real time and perform life-saving operative procedures as a surgeon would in a real emergency room.
‘This app gives surgical trainees a lasting memory of a real immersive trauma-room experience, which is much more valuable than just learning about it in a classroom’
– DONNCHA RYAN, RCSI
The app was developed in conjunction with Immersive Education VR, a former Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week.
VR enables radical education change
The VR app provides both undergraduate medical students and postgraduate medical and surgical trainees with new learning opportunities.
“This is the first fully interactive medical training simulator in the world which has been made publicly available and we are very excited about the potential it holds for future surgeons,” said Prof Oscar Traynor, director of the National Surgical Training Centre at RCSI.
“Giving trainees the opportunity to practise commonly encountered life-or-death procedures outside of a clinical environment will help ensure optimum patient safety and outcomes when it comes to performing such surgeries in real-life.
“The students are given the opportunity to experience highly realistic clinical scenarios, make critical decisions and act on those decisions. Ultimately, the VR app will better prepare them for real-world experiences and we’re proud that RCSI is the first institution in the world offering this type of training to our students.”
The app has been released to the public on the Oculus VR platform and is optimised for Samsung Gear VR.
“Virtual reality is the most radical technological change we’ve seen since the mobile phone and the opportunities it poses for education are vast,” said Donncha Ryan, learning technology manager at RCSI.
“This app gives surgical trainees a lasting memory of a real immersive trauma-room experience, which is much more valuable than just learning about it in a classroom.”