Health Education England and partners Fracture Reality and Orion Immersive, have been nominated for a prestigious SXSW (South By South-West) Innovation Award for their work on an extended reality training concept for trainee GPs and student nurses.
The Aegros project allows trainee and student healthcare professionals to interact with a digital avatar that is controlled by an instructor. It runs through a series of simulations that can be viewed in either virtual or augmented reality. This allows learners to hone their communication skills in a lifelike simulation, so they enhance their learning and training and improve interactions with people in their care.
The concept behind the Aegros project is to allow learners to practice their communication skills and receive real time feedback, in situations that they may not routinely encounter safely and without some of the real-world risks. It is the first time that extended reality technology has been used to train clinicians using a digital avatar and provides a safe training environment which will increase clinical learning opportunities.
It will soon be piloted for use in perinatal mental health by student mental health nurses and in primary care settings by trainee GPs.
Emma Scales, Programme Lead, National Mental Health Programme, from HEE said: “We are delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious award. The SXSW awards allows us to showcase the best of the NHS on an international level. This nomination is testament to the power that innovation can play in training the NHS workforce of tomorrow.
"This project has brought real life human interaction and learning within clinical simulation even closer together skills and we look forward to launching our pilot so we can use and evaluate this technology and it’s potential for healthcare training.”
Mark Knowles-Lee, CEO of Fracture Reality, said: “It’s been incredibly exciting working with HEE’s experts to completely transform how they use technology to train healthcare professionals.
“This project has allowed us to combine our cutting-edge AR/VR technology with the leading educational expertise to pioneer entirely new approaches to training.”
Mark Christian, CEO of Orion Immersive, said: “The exciting thing is that we have broken new ground in clinical simulation by enabling real-to-life patient consultations with virtual avatars. The potential applications of our approach for teaching and learning are huge. Being selected as a finalist for the SXSW Innovation Awards is a clear indication that our approach is both novel and worthy of further development.”
The SXSW festival takes place in Austin, Texas, from March 11-20.