Mixed Reality in Medical Education: Transforming Access to Top-Tier Training
Published Feb 28 2022 08:14 AM 5,978 Views
Copper Contributor

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Healthcare professionals put their lives at risk to treat the afflicted. They are heroes. Their journey to qualify as doctors and nurses is long and challenging – and the pandemic has made it even more so. 


Now, more than ever, the industry requires the highest quality training, using immersive technologies and learning environments that prioritize student and patient safety just as much as skills development, whether treating COVID-19 or learning CPR or obtaining the “bedside” manners to guide patients through decision-making and emotional support.

Today’s healthcare students rely heavily on simulation. In fact, most student doctors and nurses require a stipulated number of simulation hours in order to graduate. Traditional simulation techniques and tools, however, are unable to keep pace with gaining real-life skills to provide the best real-time treatment. Expensive, non-responsive manikins in simulation centers come with significant overhead. Standardized patient actors pretending to be sick can’t evolve in real-time with the illness treated. Access to simulation centers is limited, even in a post-Covid world, with social distancing and remote learning the new norm.


GigXR uses the power of mixed reality to enable healthcare students and professionals to have the best possible preparation for patient care by providing holographic simulation, no matter where you are. We make it easy to create and distribute holographic content for hyper-realistic scenario and procedural training. Immersive training with life-like content helps bridge the gap between theoretical learning and actual practice. We use Microsoft’s leading-edge HoloLens 2 to bring this to life through a connected experience, where students and trainers interact with the same content at the same time.

Our team approaches creating immersive learning from a 360-degree perspective. As educators, nursing specialists, 3D designers, technologists, and futurists, we aim to push the boundaries of how mixed reality can support the global healthcare sector. 


GigXR partners with luminaries from world-class institutions like Michigan Medicine, the University of Cambridge Hospitals and Northwest Permanente P.C, each of whom understand the need to find innovative new solutions for simulation and who are among some of the leading mixed reality adopters in the field. By partnering with GigXR to develop content for our platform, these cutting-edge, elite institutions bring subject matter expertise and experience that drives the future of healthcare simulation and impact learning on a global scale.


“We use mixed reality to train future medical professionals so that they can feel more confident and prepared to provide patient care from day one,” said Mark Cohen, MD, Professor of Surgery, Pharmacology, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. “An important goal of this novel mixed reality training and simulation development would be its ability to translate these skills acquired from hyper-fidelity real-world simulations into clinicians who are able to make diagnoses and perform procedures more efficiently with shorter durations and lower rates of error or complications leading to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.”


Our products build on traditional simulation methods like the aforementioned manikin and standardized patients. While these methodologies provide value in key aspects of patient care, they have limitations, especially in the representation of an evolving scenario: a manikin cannot show new wounds, or deterioration in a specific condition; standardized patients can only simulate the symptoms of a given pathology and students cannot use diagnostic tools such as stethoscopes, MRI scans or other tests to support their learning. 


Mixed reality holographic content makes learning techniques and models limitless. For example, learners using mixed reality can overlay a hyper-realistic responsive patient over a manikin that can be instantly adjusted through parameters like gender, ethnicity, age and body mass. The important tools required for diagnosis and treatment like x-rays and ultrasound scans can now all be simulated and customizable and broadcasted into any environment.  


“Mixed reality revolutionizes how learners prepare for patient care in not only teaching medical skills and judgment but also enhancing communication skills with patients and other medical team members,” said Dr Patricia Ramos, MD, MCRP, Medical Director, Center for Innovative Medical Simulation at KPNW, Senior Emergency Physician. “Bedside manners are a vital but underemphasized element of providing optimal patient care. Mixed reality allows us to practice intercommunication skills in ways that conventional training tools, like manikins, simply cannot.”


We believe that the hyper-realistic 3D models we use in our mixed reality products to create safe-to-fail environments in which medical and nursing students can practice vital diagnostic, communication and clinical reasoning skills together, will ultimately become central to healthcare education. Mixed reality learning makes education more equitable, more inclusive of different learning styles and patient populations, and more thorough. 


Most importantly, perhaps, it will help students to think like doctors and nurses long before they are in real clinical settings, something 2D theoretical models on book pages or static manikins simply cannot achieve. Mixed reality extends resources, curricula, accessibility and possibilities – and it’s already happening.  GigXRs growing catalogue of first and third-party applications, and through its ongoing partnerships with esteemed teaching institutions, is setting new standards across the healthcare industry.


The future of healthcare learning is here. 


To learn more about GigXR, visit www.gigxr.com


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