Sheffield Hallam University Uses Augmented Reality to Increase Manikin Fidelity

augmented reality medical simulation

Sheffield Hallam University was recently featured on BBC news for their augmented reality system which increases realism of stagnate simulators by overlaying recorded standardized patient videos on top of the manikin. This is a step in the right direction towards increased fidelity for patient simulator engagements. Because this is such an innovative project, I have copied several links to additional information below:

From the Sheffield Hallam website:

Sheffield Hallam University has become the UK’s first higher education institution to use a new piece of cutting edge technology that assesses empathy and compassion in healthcare.

Augmented reality (AR) has been introduced into the University’s nursing and midwifery curriculum which sees videos of patients, played by actors, superimposed onto training manikins. The computer-generated images or video of the patient is overlaid onto the dummy via an iPad tablet and provides a ‘real’ account of the patient experience.



It is designed to give trainee nurses a range of scenarios to test their reactions and their patient communication skills. Jean Flanagan, assistant dean and head of nursing and midwifery, said ‘The introduction of augmented reality has been a hit with our students and staff and it has allowed us to realistically assess how our students are going to perform when they are out on the wards.’ Read the full article on the SHU website.

nursing simulation augmented reality

Click to watch the awesome BBC coverage of the AR system“Medical mannequins can be a useful training aid but interacting with them can feel unnatural. But at Sheffield Hallam University augmented reality is now being used to ‘turn’ the mannequin into a real person. The app contains various scenarios, recorded by actors, to make the situation feel more realistic. Once the introduction has been made using the app, the mannequin can be remotely controlled to continue reacting in keeping with the simulation.”

You can also download the presentation slides from the session entitled “Human Patient Simulation – Now with Added Reality” from HPSN given by Mel Lindley, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy within the Allied Health Professions department; Deborah Clark, Senior Lecturer within the Nursing and Midwifery department; Robin Gissing, Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor for the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing.

Finally, download this report entitled “Using Augmented Reality” from UK’s Council of Deans: “Student feedback indicates that learning was furthered by the interactive workbook being created by students for students as it enabled students to better understand the level of knowledge required for their stage of training. Annual course review and module evaluation have both demonstrated that students value this module above all others due to its level of interaction, realism and preparation for clinical practice.”


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