How AI powered virtual reality can help train clinicians of the future

How AI powered virtual reality can help train clinicians of the future

May 11, 2017

No sooner had I returned from Los Angeles and the Vision AR/VR Summit than I was back on a plane to fly to Malta. Along with Oculus, I was there to present a session discussing AiSolve’s ground-breaking medical VR simulator at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the eHealth Week event for health professionals.

The project has really captured people’s attention. Facebook featured it at the company’s recent F8 annual get together and the collaboration with Bioflight, the Hollywood-based VFX specialist, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has received extensive media coverage around the world.

The project is a breakthrough in intelligent and responsive VR training for emergency paediatric trauma situations and has been supported by social media giant Facebook and uses an Oculus Rift headset and Touch controllers.

As an industry we can do two things to prevent this – use artificial intelligence to drive virtual reality and ensure we collaborate fully to get it right first time.

That’s what we have done at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. AiSolve, Oculus and Bioflight came together to deliver a VR simulation project creating more cost-effective, realistic and reliable training of real-life trauma situations. We’re also indebted to the enthusiastic help and feedback from Dr Todd Chang and Dr Joshua Sherman at the hospital.

Rather than use mannequins – the traditional method for such training – thanks to our project students can instead don VR headsets and experience emergency care scenarios in a virtual environment that looks and feels like a real-life scenario.

This is particularly important for paediatric care because doctors and nurses are often battling to save children’s lives in a shorter time window than for adults, while the VR simulation replaces traditional mannequin-based simulations, which are expensive. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles pays around $430,000 annually to train staff on mannequins and this training is also time-consuming.

A team of programmers at AiSolve took the conceived medical environment and created an AI powered virtual world based on scenarios developed from real case studies provided by doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Logic-driven screenplays include multiple options, dialogue and a variety of possible events in a genuine paediatric emergency. The idea is that the students will be better prepared in real-life situations.

The project began in early 2016 and went through two prototyping developments in the same year. A fully-working model was delivered in early 2017 and the development and medical teams will continue to monitor and enhance the virtual world as more users learn with it.

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