OMS provides free access to VR medical training platform to overcome social distancing

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London- and Boston-based Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) develops training scenarios for medical professionals being utilised at Oxford University, the University of New England and across parts of the National Health Service in the UK

Quick read

➨ OMS has made a version of its platform free to use until 31 May
➨ OMS Distance is available for free across the US, Canada and the UK
➨ Although primarily a VR platform accessible via a headset, medical professionals can also access simulations on their PCs or laptops

The story

At a time when entire countries are in lockdown and strict social distancing measures are in place, one immersive technology company is doing its part to aid struggling healthcare providers and medical professionals to get the training they need to deal with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

London- and Boston-based Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS), which develops training scenarios for medical professionals being utilised at Oxford University, the University of New England and across parts of the National Health Service in the UK, among others, has made a version of its platform free to use until 31 May.

The OMS Distance Simulation platform was made available for free across the US, Canada and the UK from 16 March.

Although primarily a VR platform accessible via a headset, medical professionals can also access simulations on their PCs or laptops.

The platform offers hundreds of dynamic scenarios across medicine and nursing, with  fully-automated feedback and debriefing tools, embedded blended learning resources, and simple methods of integrating with curriculum requirements.

OMS has seen significant interest in its training simulations to date. More than 50 organisations, with more than 17,000 learners between them, have signed up.

The company is keen to highlight who is using the platform and how during the pandemic, to encourage others to take advantage of its no-commitment offer.

Among its users are nursing programmes unable to deliver clinical placements during the pandemic, medical programmes that are fast-tracking learners for clinical practice, hospitals needing to upskill clinicians who are moving between departments, and health systems, which are having to rapidly bring in new nurses and retrain clinicians returning to practice.

Use of OMS Distance is happening in learners’ homes, either for just-in-time simulation for those returning to practice, or in schools and colleges by allocating learners to specific scenarios at different times to align with curriculum requirements.

Educators can then debrief over a video conference, using the automated performance feedback and the learner’s case reflection as a springboard for debriefing. Others are using OMS Distance for group learning, with learners go through the same scenario at the same time, then group debriefing and case teaching over a video conference.

Healthcare organisations and medical professionals interested in finding out more about OMS Distance can register their interest online.

OMS featured in the healthcare focus in the latest issue of VRWorldTech Magazine. Chief medical officer explained why training in VR is so useful for medical professionals: “Everything we do for the learner sets out to improve their confidence and performance, and in turn, improve patient care. The learners really see and understand that, so their engagement with our simulations isn’t based on gamification as such, it’s based on that ability to improve their performance. Learners want to repeat the scenarios so they can become better at treating patients.”

Image: Oxford Medical Simulation