University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust partner with GigXR to create Mixed Reality medical simulation training

In Mixed Reality News

January 7, 2022 – GigXR, a provider of extended reality (XR) solutions for instructor-led teaching and training, has announced its partnership with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, to co-create evidence-based holographic acute care simulations for multiprofessional training including medical students, nurses, and doctors seeking to enhance their skills in clinical practice.

Using mixed reality (MR), which merges physical environments with hyper-realistic digital elements, learners will be able to interact with holographic patients to practice high-level, real-time decision making and intervention choice. Accessed and deployed through GigXR’s Immersive Learning Platform, the partnership and new holographic simulations will also provide learners with access to safe-to-fail simulation scenarios guided by experts in medicine and healthcare education. 

“Simulating real-world, real-time medical care requires interactive, responsive patients, medical tools and evolving scenarios that conventional methods, such as manikins, task trainers and standardized patients, and even virtual and augmented realities, cannot accurately recreate,” said Arun Gupta, Director of Postgraduate Education, Cambridge University Health Partners. “Mixed reality not only allows us to create patient holograms that will have realistic medical responses to interventions, it also merges the latest advancements in hardware devices, software, remote capabilities and expertise, to scale access to cutting-edge medical knowledge and training tools.”

Educators will be able to access and share scenarios, change patient vitals, introduce complications and record observations and discussions, while projecting the holographic media using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset into any physical training environment, whether in a classroom, large teaching hospital, a small rural campus or remote on-demand study. Learners can access, observe and assess the holographic patient simulations from either a mixed reality headset or an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. 

“Conventional simulations are heavily resource-dependent, which makes it difficult to create a global standard of medical training,” added Gupta. “By partnering with GigXR, we’re empowering instructors and institutions to usher in a new era of simulation that facilitates the seamless exchange of global medical knowledge using future-proof technology that transforms those insights from theory to true-to-life practice.”

The simulations will offer a selection of scenarios across multiple pathologies, such as anaphylactic shock, acute asthma, acute pulmonary embolism and community acquired pneumonia. Learners will be able to experience evolving situations and reinforce skills required for acute care settings. For example, the first pathologies being created include emergency scenarios and deteriorating chronic conditions that lead to hospitalization, focusing on the real-time responses and human factors needed to provide safe and effective  care in both types of situations. 

GigXR stated that in addition to the development of the holographic simulations, the University of Cambridge is also initiating research to create the benchmarks and criteria for evaluating learning and patient outcomes with mixed reality devices, as well as evaluating the products and resulting efficiencies for the institution. The research will guide development so that the holographic simulations will come to market optimized and supported by academic insights, according to GigXR.

“We are designing a research-based professional learning intervention to evaluate this work with colleagues at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Empirical evidence is essential in further supporting the impact and efficacies of mixed reality training and scaling this technology across the world,” said Riikka Hofmann, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

GigXR, the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, plan to launch the holographic simulations in mid-2022. For more information on GigXR, please visit the company’s website.

Image / video credit: GigXR / YouTube

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.