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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Leads in VR Training for Doctors

VR training in action.
Image via Oculus

Virtual reality is gaining traction in the medical field. 

In 2016, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) partnered with Facebook and Occulus, along with developers

AiSolve and Bioflight VR to create a series of VR simulation using the Occulus Go that can be used to train doctors and health care providers on difficult situations that are hard to replicate for training purposes. After the success of the initial 6-month pilot program, the program is expanding to an additional 11 health care organizations this year including Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, New York University/Langone Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente Health Network Southern California, with more programs expected in 2019.

Immersive experience makes trainings feel real
Image via Oculus

With this technology, hospitals would be able to increase the frequency of critical trainings, such as pediatric resuscitation, which are typically held only a few times a year due to staffing and time constraints. VR training is more efficient than in-person trainings, can be customized for different situations, and seem to be especially effective for younger and less experienced providers, such as residents or med students. In addition, because VR is less expensive and less resource intensive than traditional trainings, so hospitals with less overall resources will have access to trainings that may otherwise be prohibitive due to cost or time.


Body movements being tracked for 3-D animations
Image via Oculus

Though the technology is still in its early stages, CHLA is encouraged by pilot is making VR training a requirement for incoming residents. Researchers are still establishing best-practices for VR training in the medical field, and plan to “crowd-source” the information using the results from their current and future medical partners.


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