Immersive Media Initiative Uses VR to Train Healthcare Students

Immersive Media Initiative uses virtual reality to train medical students

Almost weekly now, healthcare educational programs around the world are receiving grants and other financial support to explore the use of VR in healthcare education and training. Check out this recent article from the POST and an almost $1M grant to fund such research at Ohio University:

Alexa Hoynacke, a senior studying industrial systems engineering, plays a virtual reality game that involves touching targets as a part of the LEARNING study in Grover Center on November 5, 2015. Along with entertainment, virtual reality can also be used for healthcare purposes. With new virtual reality simulations, medical students can practice procedures and gain confidence in their craft faster. Since receiving an $878,000 grant from Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program, the Immersive Media Initiative team was able to begin work on a handful of virtual reality projects — they have tackled filmmaking and enhanced journalism, and they have also been busy with multiple VR projects in the medical field.

Last summer, the Immersive Media Initiative shot 360-degree footage of emergency room patients. This was their first project in virtual reality healthcare. Eric Williams, associate professor of media arts and studies and co-creator of Immersive Media Initiative, consulted with Dr. Thanh Nguyn since he is in charge of training six medical students every semester. Williams said, “Here’s the technology we have, how can we help you train your interns better.” Williams said virtual reality lets you “go and and watch the same trauma bay procedure and figure out how everything works.” Medical students can benefit from using virtual reality as part of their training because traditional methods do not allow for as



Since receiving an $878,000 grant from Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program, the Immersive Media Initiative team was able to begin work on a handful of virtual reality projects — they have tackled filmmaking and enhanced journalism, and they have also been busy with multiple VR projects in the medical field.

much access to bodies. There is only a limited supply of cadavers to work on, and the E.R. can receive an unsteady stream of new patients.

“Virtual reality not only makes it to feel like a person but makes it look like a person,” Fredricks said.


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