Removing the Boundaries of Geolocation from Clinical Simulation Using Extended Reality

Removing location boundaries from clinical simulation using XR

Dr. Jonathan Martin, Clinical Simulation Lead of Cambridge University Hospitals and Patricia Ramos, MD, MCRP, Medical Director of Simulation at Kaiser Permanente NW, co-facilitated a clinical simulation where two physicians in training and one GigXR employee (with an EMT background) gave care to an asthmatic patient.

The twists:

  • The patient was a hologram;
  • All of their equipment were holograms;
  • The participants were spread across Cambridge, UK; Portland, Oregon USA; and Southern California, USA respectively.

Yet, everyone was able to work with one another in a real-time, meaningful way that enabled a productive training simulation.

The Metaverse – a place where people can come together for shared, immersive experiences no matter their physical location – provided the pipes for the interaction. The Gig Immersive Learning Platform provided the ecosystem for two of the world’s preeminent institutions to come together and share their knowledge using the best experience that the Metaverse can offer for teaching and training.

So what are the major implications that can be extrapolated from this training?

The sharing of the world’s know-how

When watching the PhD candidates, both Dr. Martin and Dr. Ramos were able to share feedback with the candidates. Similarly, the candidates helped one another throughout.

No one had to spend money on a plane ticket, book a hotel room, or rent a car. And no one had to spend what would be several days of travel for the one hour simulation.

Instead, five people put on a Microsoft HoloLens 2 to come together. Others opened their iOS and Android devices to follow along in real time from their first person perspective. And because they operated in MR (mixed reality) as opposed to VR (virtual reality), those that were together in the UK could easily see each other as well as the remainder of the real world environment because the HoloLens is a pass-through device.

All of the friction that the real world travel imposes was removed by the Metaverse, therefore enabling the flow of knowledge way more efficiently. Professionals from across the pond from one another shared best practices while actually practicing!

A massive decrease in the cost to deliver training

There are obvious savings from the reduction in capital expenditure. Watching the video, it is hard to miss all of the holographic equipment:

  • Patient bed
  • Patient monitor
  • Oxygen mask
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Pulse-oximeter
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • ECG Leads
  • Nebulizers
  • IV bags and giving sets
  • Infusion pumps
  • Stethoscopes
  • Thermometers
  • Pen lights
  • Request Terminal

Further, the video did not show other equipment and consumables that can be accessed in the simulation such as:

  • Blood tests
  • Imaging services such as X-ray, CT and MRI scans
  • EKG tests
  • A wide array of prescription medications and fluids

Collectively, that is tens of thousands of dollars of equipment that can be spawned anywhere, anytime, so long as the participant has an internet connection.

Medical schools, nursing schools, training hospitals, and providers will no longer need to spend nearly as much on physical equipment for simulation.

Going forward, these institutions can spawn any device for no marginal cost. Further, their doctors, nurses and learners can easily put any equipment in their homes allowing for more repetition to build confidence and competence in a safe-to-fail environment all while still being connected to their colleagues.

In doing so, they prepare full clinical simulations and all of the required equipment to perform them with a few clicks in just a few minutes, saving hours of effort from staff and relieving incredible amounts of operational and administrative burden.

It is very easy to watch the Intercontinental simulation and see the immediate impact to cost reduction. Seeing both Dr. Ramos and the GigXR employee set up a full hospital room, pharmacy and lab in their own home is a prime example.

The democratization of training

Creating collaborative Metaverse training, allowing healthcare professionals to share their training, and building training gameplay with premier institutions for use by others unlocks the fragmentation of knowledge that the real world imposes.

Not every institution has the budget or staff to train across the incredibly wide spectrum of pathologies, procedures, equipment and more that healthcare requireds. This phenomenon is even more present in the developing world.

We watch the Intercontinental clinical simulation and can see a direct line to a more informed, better trained world. We are eager for our ecosystem to play its role and, more importantly, for society to benefit from its impact.

The scaling of training

When we think of scale we think about:

  • How do we bring training to as many people as possible?
  • How do we bring it to those people as fast as possible?
  • How do we allow as many people as possible to share that experience together at the same time?

Our platform and ecosystem do all of the above and will do even more in the future.

Imagine if Dr. Martin wanted to train learners how to care for an asthmatic patient across the world with a separate institution on each of the respective continents. Prior to the holographic respiratory clinical simulation, he would need to book travel, lug equipment, and stay in hotels for two weeks. During that time he would exhaust himself and be away from his family (and very cute children!).

Instead, Dr. Martin can schedule five one-hour sessions back-to-back and never leave Cambridge. He would stay fresh without the risk of nausea that comes from VR. And he would get to eat dinner with his son.

To really see the impact of scale, compound Jonny’s experience by thousands of Jonnies across thousands of topics and you can immediately see how the clinical simulation above leads to acceleration of knowledge transfer.

At GigXR, we are proud of the technology we are building, but even more proud of the ecosystem it facilitates. The Metaverse will better the real world and we plan to be a big part of it.

If you’re interested in being a part of it, please reach out. We’d love to make this a better world with you.