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“Getting the Bedside View:” UK Virtual Reality Project Puts Clinicians in Patients’ Shoes

Posted: April 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, In the News, Telehealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

From the hospital to the pediatrician’s office, providing compassion and patient support is a top priority for most providers in the modern healthcare era. New initiatives to improve these metrics are constantly in the works, as evidenced by South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust’s (England) teaming up with innovative software developers to create a firsthand virtual reality simulation of the patient experience.

Meet PatientVR, the brainchild of South Devon’s innovation team and spearheaded by PhD student Nick Peres. Initially, Peres and team were building out a “patient-esque” mannequin that could blink, breathe, bleed and speak—with the goal to develop a more accurate and realistic training tool for medical personnel. When considering the importance of what a patient feels and sees, however, ideas soon migrated to the topic of virtual reality.

PatientVR runs on a headset and chronicles a patient being transported to the ER with chest pain. Originating in the ambulance, said patient is stabilized, examined, informed that he is having a heart attack and then rolled into the operating room where pre-surgical risks are voiced via a team of surgeons. The video is seven minutes long and comprehensively captures the patient perspective along every point of the care delivery process. Oh, and did we mention that Peres filmed the video himself with the help of seven GoPro cameras?

A recent article in HIStalk Connect gathered feedback from a number of clinicians currently piloting PatientVR, including anesthesiologist Tod Guest. When asked about PatientVR’s efficacy, Dr. Guest praised the tool for “[reinforcing] the need to be sensitive to [patients’] needs and their ability to understand the information you’re [giving] them. Their vulnerability and emotional state is important, especially if they are suddenly taken ill with something serious.” If funding is secured in time, PatientVR will be rolled out across a number of UK-based health systems this year. Fingers crossed that Peres makes it over to the states as well!

SOURCE: HIStalk Connect 

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