A new technology based on mixed reality allows medical students to practice diagnosis and treatment with holographic patients: they do not exist, but they perceive them to be real.
A medical student intern at a UK hospital has become the first person in the world to train with holographic patients.
Using a mixed reality headset, students can treat virtual patients using technology that mimics medical conditions, such as having asthma, and make real-time decisions about their treatment.
The first training module presents a patient with asthma in hologram format, followed by anaphylaxis, pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. More modules are being developed in Cardiology and Neurology for student learning.
The new training method improves upon traditional resources for learning medicine such as textbooks, mannequins and computer software, according to its creators.
technology is called holo landscape and is available for license in medical institutions around the world. Its creators claim that it provides a cost-effective and flexible training resource that can renew traditional medicine training.
The technology is based on so-called mixed reality, which combines the interactivity of virtual reality and the visual power of augmented reality, which allows the real world to be viewed with additional graphic information.
This combination allows the user to fully enter the real environment, with the uniqueness of being able to interact with virtual elements.
“Mixed reality is increasingly recognized as a useful method of simulator training,” project manager Arun Gupta said in a statement.
“As institutions become more familiar with this, the demand for platforms that provide the utility and ease of managing mixed reality learning is growing rapidly,” he says.
as in real life
When working with this technology, medical students share the same room and wear mixed reality headsets.
They walk as if they were in real life at the same time they interfere with the diagnosis of the virtual patient, whom they believe as if they were in the same room.
Students are not alone in treating the holographic patient. Through the headset, medical teachers can complicate the patient’s symptoms to recover learning.
These teachers can work remotely, they do not need to share the same hospital space as the students. Even students and doctors from other parts of the world can participate in the sessions through internet.
The possibilities don’t end there: students can also participate in this practical therapy class from their electronic device, be it a smartphone or tablet.
This means that realistic and secure immersive learning can be accessed, distributed and shared around the world, potentially making the technology mainstream in many medical schools around the world.
The new technology could also provide more flexible and cost-effective training without the enormous resource demands of traditional simulation, which could make immersive training economically prohibitive, its creators say.
This includes the cost of maintaining the simulation centers, their equipment, and the hours of faculty and staff to operate the laboratories and to recruit and train patients.
evaluation of results
In conjunction with the development and launch of HoloScenarios, the University of Cambridge is conducting research using mixed reality to assess student and patient outcomes, as well as to evaluate the resulting products and capability for institutions.
“Having a hologram patient who can see, hear and talk is really exciting and will really make a difference in student learning,” says junior Dr. Aniket Bhardwaj, who is the first to test the new technology.
“Having a holographic patient that you can see and hear and interact with is really exciting and will make a difference in student learning,” he concluded.