Improving VR use in healthcare education
A new report that could help improve how immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are used in healthcare education and training has been published with significant input from the University of Huddersfield.
Professor David Peebles, Director of the University’s Centre for Cognition and Neuroscience, and Huddersfield PhD graduate Matthew Pears contributed to the report – ‘Immersive technologies in healthcare training and education: Three principles for progress’ – recently published by the University of Leeds with input from range of academics, technologists and health professionals. The principles have also been expanded upon in a letter to the journal BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning.
The Huddersfield contribution to the report stems from research conducted over several years, which involved another former Huddersfield PhD researcher, Yeshwanth Pulijala, and Professor Eunice Ma, now with Falmouth University. “Yeshwanth had an interest in technology and education, and in using VR for dentistry training. Matthew was looking at soft skills and situation awareness, which could be applied to investigating how dentists were able to keep a track of what was going on around them. They were similar subjects, although with different emphases, and so it seemed a natural area for collaboration.”
With only a relatively small number of dental schools in the UK, the quartet visited seven dental schools in India in early 2017, with support from travel grants from Santander Bank, to test their VR-based training materials on students. The experience gained from that visit contributed to both researchers’ PhDs, and ultimately led to the involvement of Professor Peebles and Matthew Pears in the new report.
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