You know those big medical machines you see when you visit the hospital? These machines are big, complicated beasts and require a fair amount of training to use properly. This is where the HTC Vive and VMC – Virtual Medical Coaching – comes in.
VMC Suite’s X-Ray Trainer is the first of many upcoming “modules” to be created by the New Zealand based VMC. Nowhere so far has the advantages of virtual reality been more obvious than in this instance – even with the expense of a VR headset like the Vive, it’s but a tiny percentage of the cost of a piece of medical equipment like an X-ray machine, MRI, CT, or Ultrasound. Add to this a virtual environment that mimics that of an actual working office, “actual” patients that can be programmed to act in certain, challenging ways, and the “actual” operation of these machines via the pressing of virtual buttons and such.
It’s not just a simulation in this case – muscle memory in medical applications is very important, as it is in any kind of training. Medicine has the patient’s life or limb on the line though, so this type of virtual training is invaluable. VMC’s PR release echoes these sentiments:
“Through VR, students get education around the intricacies of operating advanced medical equipment. Guided by real-life educators, each student has the opportunity to make and learn from their mistakes in an environment which communicates the consequences, without the damaging side-effects that would otherwise accompany them in real life.
With hardware costing less than 1% of real-world x-ray machine counterparts, tertiary providers around the world are picking up VMC Suite rather than physical machines. Key benefits of the suite include the fact that it doesn’t require maintenance or annual certification. The setup is easily transportable, fits into significantly small rooms and, thanks to continual software updates, ensures students always have the latest technology to work with. VMC Suite is even empowering educational facilities to pick up new courses they otherwise couldn’t offer due to lacking the equipment.”
A sample of the “coursework”available through Vive and VMC can be seen in the video below:
This is a revolution for VR, and it’s gratifying to finally see VR being applied in this way.