When looking around at what’s new at CES2017, the obvious often jumps out at you. There are the world leading brands bringing to market the latest in technology. But just sometimes something a little smaller grabs your attention. However a smaller company drew our attention. The company is called Virtual Medical Coaching and they have used the latest Virtual Reality (VR) hardware and developed software that offers medical imaging students the ability to learn and participate in a fully immersive environment.
The Writer had the opportunity to put on the VR googles and what was a vacant booth suddenly became a full Hospital Radiology suite. I was able to walk from the Consul room into the examination room. I was able to interact with the X ray tube, manipulate the patient, raise or lower the table and put left or right markers on. After placing the X Ray tube, manipulating the patient’s knee, collimating the beam and even placing the correct “R” side maker onto the X Ray image receptor I walked back to the consul room, and took the radiograph.
The Virtual Medical Coaching team have by, utilising developers that have worked for Pixar, Disney, and Marvel, turned their hand to Medical Learning, and succeeded. The experience is so real that Medical Imaging students were trailing this latest education tool at last year’s RSNA conference in Chicago and they were genuinely excited to be able to take “actually X-rays” and for the first time see the results of their actions and settings.
Ara Institute of Canterbury in New Zealand is the first Radiology teaching school using this for student education. The key benefits that attracted Ara to using this technology were the understanding that the existing practice of using decommissioned X-ray equipment was not satisfactory when Virtual Reality offered such a more practical and educational experience.
This technology, in combination with the adaptive e-learning software they have developed, allows students to make mistakes without consequence and, importantly, learn from them so they are not repeated. For example, if a student is keen to know what happens if you over expose an X ray or tilt the body part at an incorrect angle, they quite simply can try – and see the resulting x-ray. They learn from this and will not make such a mistake in clinical practice.
Virtual Medical Coaching Limited are able to place any Radiology brand and type of machine in their simulation, and key opportunities outside of the student training are offering equipment manufacturers the ability to virtualise their machines for staff and distributor training, while also being able to in a brief case take every machine they provide to their customer base and set up in any location, be it a client office or a trade show.
The Team at Virtual Medical Coaching are close to completion on their MRI and CT simulations and these are scheduled for market in 2017.
If you wish to find out more, go to www.virtualmedicalcoaching.com