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RCSI Virtual Reality (VR) Hospital App
will be the rst virtual reality medical
simulation application globally available
on the Oculus, the leading global brand
of virtual reality headsets. To be leading
the push with this new technology is
proof, Dr Harrington says, of RCSI's
commitment to the exploration of
ground-breaking solutions for training
and further enhances con dence in
the College internationally. e app
was developed by the Department of
Surgical A airs, RCSI, in conjunction
with Immersive Education, an Irish
company with expertise in developing
virtual reality experiences for education.
According to Dr Harrington: " e
core design team was led by Professor
Sean Tierney, Dean of Professional
Development and Practice, RCSI, and
included Donncha Ryan, Learning
Technology Manager; Jessica Halligan;
and myself. e team designed a virtual
reality medical simulation application
for use on the recently released Oculus
Gear VR platform. is VR platform
was advantageous as it's extremely
portable, relatively inexpensive and
trainees can use a compatible Samsung
mobile phone as the screen, making it
ideal for use in the National Surgical
Training Laboratory, RCSI.
" is app immerses users in real-life
medical scenarios from a multitude
of perspectives: from the patient's
perspective during a traumatic event;
from the point of view of the paramedic
during transfer; or as the doctor making
life or death decisions. It simulates
intense, realistic situations faced by
medical professionals, which are hard
to replicate using other simulation
Universities and education as a whole
can incorporate the technology's
entertaining features with educational
content through `gami cation' and
realistic simulation scenarios for the
VR platform. As Oculus VR Founder
Palmer Luckey said at the recent Web
Summit 2015 in Dublin: "I think there's
a lot of potential for VR in the education
industry ..."
"Merging this `fun factor' with
education increases utilisation of
training resources by students and may,
overall, have a higher training return
than conventional means," says Dr
"Eventually, as this technology advances,
and with the incorporation of high-
delity handheld controllers, we would
hope to develop this technology in a
number of areas including simulated
open surgical procedures, doctor-
outpatient interactions, hospital/
theatre orientations and other visualised
educational content, such as interactive
anatomy, pathology and pharmacology,
providing not only students but the
general public with a suite of learning
applications. In the near future, several
of these VR devices will be available
to trainees in the College as a library-
based system, to practise in the home
The RCSI Virtual Reality
Hospital App immerses
users in real life medical
scenarios from a multitude
of perspectives.
One of the College's most recent innovations is the RCSI Virtual Reality (VR) Hospital App, the
fi rst training app of its kind globally and a prime example of RCSI's pioneering approach to new
technology. Research Fellow at RCSI's Department of Surgical Affairs, Dr Cuan Harrington (Class
of 2011) explains how it immerses trainees in real-life medical scenarios
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03/03/2016 11:54