Healthcare receives VR training boost with applications from Norwegian university and PrecisionOS

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Healthcare is getting new VR training applications from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and PrecisionOS

Quick read

➨ Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have developed a VR training solution for healthcare professionals and students
➨ Making View will take it to market
➨ Separately, surgical VR training provider PrecisionOS is bringing immersive learning to nurse training

The story

Two new VR training applications are coming to healthcare, with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) licensing out a solution to Making View and PrecisionOS expanding its platform for surgeons to orthopaedic surgical nurses.

Researchers at NTNU, based in Norway, have developed a VR training application for healthcare professionals and students.

Researcher Helen Berg and professor Aslak Steinsbekk designed and developed the VR training application for a randomised study with 600 participants through the VirSam research project at the Department of Community Medicine and Nursing at NTNU.

The study investigated whether individual self-practice of the ABCDE approach (airways, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure), which is carried out to ensure observation quality of sick patients and detect life-threatening conditions early, in an immersive and interactive VR application produced a similar or better learning outcome compared to using traditional equipment.

Results were positive, with almost a quarter of participants who trained in VR carrying out the ABCDE approach in the correct order, compared to 27.1% who used traditional equipment.

Study participants who trained in VR also reported greater enjoyment of the training experience.

NTNU has signed a licence agreement with Norway-based Making View, which develops XR experiences through its Cognitive Performance Platform for healthcare, education and corporate training, to further develop the VR training application and sell it to hospitals, municipal health services and students in healthcare.

Canada-based PrecisionOS, meanwhile, has moved into orthopaedic surgical nurse training.

Multiple surgeons can already use PrecisionOS’s training platform, which utilises Oculus Quest and is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada for orthopaedic surgery, following an upgrade in March.

Now, PrecisionOS is bringing immersive learning to nurse training, to enhance knowledge and procedural step-based orthopaedic skills in support of traditional mentorship-based development.

Increased demand for remote solutions at a time social distancing led to the expansion into orthopaedic surgical nurse training, according to chief executive officer Dr Danny Goel.

He said: “Patient-centered care relies on a highly skilled team. Like all parts of our society today the precautions surrounding Covid-19 restrict the ongoing training and preparation that my operating room colleagues and I can participate in. Over the past weeks, I’ve consulted with nursing experts and the need is clear.”

“The user-friendly PrecisionOS technology system couldn’t be available at a more convenient time,” continued Sandy Randhawa, the clinical nurse educator at Burnaby (British Columbia) Hospital where PrecisionOS is piloting the new VR experience.

Randhawa said: “Our current process uses an apprenticeship model where a junior nurse will assist by shadowing a senior nurse in the OR to teach the details of a case. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to innovate many aspects of patient care. Increased utilisation of virtual care models is one example of this. We are very excited that Burnaby hospital will be the pilot site for PrecisionOS to train the next generation of OR Nurses.”

Dr Goel said: “The safe and efficient delivery of surgical care is like a symphony. The surgeon and nurses play a critical role in supporting each other during operative cases. Our team-based approach to VR education is a critical pathway to ensure we maintain the utmost safety for all healthcare providers, the students, and our patients.”

Main image: The VR training application developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology