VR healthcare training company Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) has unveiled this week a partnership with Oxford University that will see medical students use its technology.
HOW IT WORKS
Their platform will now enable them to practice treating patients in interactive scenarios using Oculus Rift VR headsets, and receive feedback on the actions taken to improve their performance.
The system is being used at the OxSTaR (Oxford Simulation, Teaching and Research) centre, part of John Radcliffe Hospital, the main accident and emergency site in Oxfordshire and teaching institution for the Oxford Medical School.
“Embedding virtual reality simulation into what we do has enabled us to give a far greater number of learners access to simulation in a shorter space of time,” said Rosemary Warren, OxSTaR centre manager.
“Simulation is a vital part of medical education and students just don’t get to do it enough. The OMS virtual reality platform allows learners to enter simulation as often as they like to transfer their knowledge to practice,” Warren added.
THE LARGER TREND
With VR touted as a potential way of expanding access to practice and education, the startup scene has been growing in the past few years.
Giblib, for example, is a medical education streaming service with offerings that include VR and traditional videos of lectures and surgeries. In April, it raised $2.5m in seed funding, with the Mayo Clinic and Wavemaker 360 participating.
Meanwhile, London-based FundamentalVR has created a surgical training platform that combines VR with haptic sensors, mimicking the physical sensations of performing an operation. In October last year, it landed $1.4m in funding from investment company Tern Plc.
ON THE RECORD
Dr Jack Pottle, OMS chief medical officer and cofounder, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the world’s leading university to bring our virtual reality simulation platform to Oxford medical students.
“We have developed OMS out of a belief that training healthcare professionals in a flexible, zero-risk environment will transform patient care around the world. We learn best when learning from experience and our system allows users to do just that - without putting patient’s lives at risk.”
Earlier this year, OMS announced that it had partnered with NHS England’s diabetes team to provide VR training for doctors, with a pilot overseen by Health Education England Wessex that was set to start at the Portsmouth and Southampton Hospitals in April.