Tag Archives: Medical Education

Distance learning during COVID-19

Online distance medical and nursing simulation

Rapidly implementing online simulation during COVID-19

Faced with the  COVID-19 outbreak organizations all across the world  have cancelled all face to face classes. Exams are being postponed and educators are struggling to quickly transition learning resources online. However, perhaps the most difficult of these challenges is the sudden inability to meet clinical requirements.

We appreciate how hard it is to deliver simulation and clinical education at the best of times, let alone during a crisis. As simulation educators, the team at OMS have experienced the chaos caused by last-minute clinical cancellations and the need to rapidly deliver simulation to fill the gap.

This same phenomenon is now happening on a global scale. In response, OMS immediately offered the OMS Distance Simulation platform free across the US, Canada and the UK as of March 16, 2020.

Why? Well, as one of the OMS educational specialists notes:

“We are sim people, educators and folks who ultimately care about patient lives. This is a chance to train nurses and doctors when they need it most… this is exactly why we got into this in the first place!”

The OMS Distance Simulation Program

The OMS virtual simulation platform runs both in immersive virtual reality (using a VR headset) and as a screen-based simulation  using the learner’s own PC or laptop (no VR equipment required). It is, in fact, one platform delivered in two different ways. 

Scenarios are just as interactive and dynamic whether in VR or on screen. This provides immediate scale and accessibility during social distancing and the ability to switch to fully immersive virtual reality as required. 

OMS has hundreds of cases across medicine and nursing, dynamic scenarios,  fully-automated feedback and debriefing tools, embedded blended learning resources and simple methods of integrating with curriculum requirements. All of this is offered for free, with no ongoing commitment, until the situation improves.

COVID-19 PROGRAM DETAILS MORE DETAILS
Online distance medical and nursing simulation
Online distance medical and nursing simulation

Uptake of OMS Distance during COVID-19

Since May 16, over 50 institutions – with over 17,000 learners between them – have signed up. Many have started utilizing the platform already and many more will start over the coming days. This is being done across all levels of medicine and nursing and for many different use cases:

  • Nursing programs (BSN and NP), unable to deliver clinical placements 
  • Medical programs (DO and MD), fast-tracking their learners for clinical practice 
  • Hospitals, upskilling clinicians moving between departments
  • Health systems, rapidly bringing in new nurses and retraining clinicians returning to practice

Implementing and integrating online simulation

Organizations are using OMS Distance in many different ways. Many are providing it to learners at home. This may be either for just-in-time simulation for those returning to practice, or in schools and colleges by allocating learners to specific scenarios at different times to align with curriculum requirements. Educators can then asynchronously debrief over a video conference, using the automated performance feedback and the learner’s case reflection as a springboard for debriefing.

Others are using OMS Distance for group learning – having learners go through the same scenario at the same time, then group debriefing and case teaching over a video conference. This allows for more team discussion of cases, and the ability to review labs, imaging and EKGs as a class.  

Others are limiting what they expect the learners to do in a scenario – asking them to only perform the history and physical exam from the clinical scenarios, using this as a clinical experience structured with more junior learners  in mind. 

Ultimately, there is no ‘correct’ way of using the OMS system, which makes the platform versatile enough to fit around any program’s goals. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OMS DISTANCE LEARN MORE

Here to help

OMS works with institutions to help them solve their problems and fulfil their goals – whatever they may be – by providing clinical experiences on demand. Ultimately, we are here to help.

Our educational specialists and support team are working around the clock to provide educators with all the assistance you need through this time – if you think we may be able to help please get in touch.

The scale of the task for healthcare and healthcare education is enormous, and it is an honor to be able to support clinicians and educators through this time of uncertainty.

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If you are in the USA, Canada or the UK and an affected educational institution complete the details below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.









Video: VR Simulation at Oxford University

VR medical simulation

Dr Sally Shiels discusses the value of VR simulation at the OxSTaR simulation centre in the Oxford University Hospital Trust

VR simulation

Dr. Sally Shiels is an anaesthetist at OxSTaR (Oxford Simulation, Teaching and Research), the purpose-built, state-of-the-art medical simulation teaching and research facility in Oxford University Hospital.

Sally discusses virtual reality’s impact on training for medical students and clinicians, how immersive technology is supporting patient safety, and the types of programs the OxSTaR center are developing.

“Providing our students with virtual patients has been an absolute sea change in terms of medical education” 

Using OMS has allowed OxSTaR to expand their training capabilities, preparing medical students more fully for clinical practice, in order to improve patient safety.

“We’re taking our students into a virtual world where they can learn safely, and that is really important, because then they feel safe to make mistakes.”

Learn more about the work Oxford University are doing with OMS using the link below, or see PharmaComms TV for the original content.

OxSTAR and VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual Reality World Tech Magazine: Informed Immersion

Immersive technology is making significant strides in training medical professionals and as a treatment in health and wellness.

There are many ways that virtual reality (VR) can be applied in healthcare – from training medical professionals to aiding surgeons through visualisation or even robotics. But where is immersive tech really excelling right now, and what is it achieving for patients and medical professionals alike?

In the article below, Dr Jack Pottle, Chief Medical Officer at Oxford Medical Simulation, speaks to VR World Tech – discussing the views and often misconceptions that institutions have about immersive tech…

Read the full interview here

Introducing OMS Interprofessional

Oxford Medical Simulation is excited to announce the launch of multiplayer virtual reality training with OMS Interprofessional

 

OMS Interprofessional is the multiplayer VR simulation platform from Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS). OMS Interprofessional allows multiple learners to be in the same virtual reality scenario at one time, whether they are in the same room or different countries. Learners can collaborate, discuss and make decisions as a team, just like in real life, to improve patient care

Driven by our mission to provide healthcare professionals with quality, effective clinical training at scale our multiplayer scenarios are fully immersive and interactive. Learners across disciplines can now practice managing patients as a team in real life clinical environments without risking patient safety. This regular, flexible training builds teamwork, confidence, competence and optimises transfer of learning to practice. 

How does it work? 

Using VR headsets, learners are immersed in clinical environments with dynamic, engaging patients in true-to-life clinical scenarios where they can assess and treat patients in collaboration with their colleagues. Learners can see multiple patients, interviewing,  examining, investigating, engaging with their interdisciplinary team to treat their patient – who responds as in real life. 

The focus in OMS Interprofessional is on teamwork, communication, critical thinking and clinical reasoning – allowing clinicians to apply their knowledge and learn together. After each scenario learners enter a group debriefing environment, allowing them to analyse performance as a team, discussing the case and focusing on human factors just like in traditional simulation. 

Team performance analytics are also available to learners and faculty to facilitate debriefing, progress tracking and needs identification. Learners can enter the multiplayer environment with faculty or as independent teams allowing for flexible and adaptive use cases. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW IT WORKS

What are the benefits? 

There are multiple benefits to integrating OMS Interprofessional into healthcare training curricula. The immersive team-based scenarios allow interdisciplinary teams to work together repeatedly at any time to refine teamwork and communication skills. This flexible system lets organizations deliver simulation efficiently and effectively to improve patient care.

The portable, stand-alone OMS system is simple set-up, while intuitive, faculty-free use allows organizations to scale simulation delivery and integrate simulation into everyday practice.Moreover, multiplayer VR simulation allows learners to be trained at distance, entering scenarios from anywhere in the world regardless of their proximity to faculty and physical training locations. Faculty can be based in New York and train learners in Nairobi!

Every scenario accurately mirrors real-life,  with peer-reviewed presentations, adaptive conversation, pharmaceutical modelling and dynamic physiology to ensure clinical realism. This provides consistently quality, standardized simulation on demand. The OMS system then provides immediate, intelligent, team-based feedback on technical and non-technical skills, consolidating knowledge and facilitating debrief. Detailed metrics and analytics dashboards allow organizations to objectively measure performance and track improvements over time, whilst customizable feedback and blended learning allow seamlessly integration with curriculum requirements and protocols. 

Oxford University Partners with Oxford Medical Simulation to Transform Medical Education

The world’s leading medical school is embracing state of the art virtual reality software to push student’s learning to new heights. Oxford University has partnered with Oxford Medical Simulation to train medical students using virtual reality. Students can now practice medical emergencies using true to life virtual scenarios without risking patients’ lives.

The technology, developed by UK-based Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS), allows medical students to practice treating acutely unwell patients in a simulated, virtual environment as often as they like. Training in this way improves patient care in real life by allowing repeated practice in simulation to build competence and confidence.

Oxford University decided to employ this innovative technology as a way to get more students through simulation. Simulation – where trainees practice medical emergencies as they would present in real life – is widely regarded as one of the most effective ways of training healthcare professionals. Simulation is traditionally practiced with high fidelity plastic mannequins in mocked up hospital wards. However, this form of simulation is time, space and budget consuming meaning medical students may only get to experience one physical simulation in an academic year. With virtual reality simulation, students are now able to practice simulated scenarios as often as they like.

The system is being used at the OxSTaR centre based at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford – the main teaching hospital for Oxford University Medical School.

Rosemary Warren, Centre Manager at OxSTaR commented, “As a world

-leading institution, it is important for us to remain at the forefront of changes in the types of learning opportunities we offer our students. Embedding virtual reality simulation into what we do has enabled us to give a far greater number of learners access to simulation in a shorter space of time. It’s encouraging to see how quickly our students have adopted the technology. I’m excited to see how they progress clinically as they use it more and more. Simulation is a vital part of medical education and students just don’t get to do it enough. The OMS virtual reality platform allows learners to enter simulation as often as they like to transfer their knowledge to practice.”

The OMS system works by providing students access to libraries of medical emergencies that allows them to simulate the treatment of a range of conditions such as sepsis, diabetes, cardiac failure, pancreatitis and many more. Students enter the interactive virtual scenario using an Oculus headset and are greeted by a virtual nursing assistant and their patient. Learners are able to question, comfort, examine and treat the patient as they would in real life. Every action the learner takes up to – and including – diagnosis and resolution is recorded and fed into the system’s inbuilt feedback engine. Once the scenario is complete, the learner is taken through this feedback to understand what went well and what they need to improve on.

The emphasis is on training effective decision making, critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Healthcare learners have a safe space where they can apply their knowledge and learn from their mistakes. Dr Jack Pottle, Medical Director at Oxford Medical Simulation said: “We’re delighted to be working with the world’s leading university to bring our virtual reality simulation platform to Oxford medical students. We have developed OMS out of a belief that training healthcare professionals in a flexible, zero-risk environment will transform patient care around the world. We learn best when learning from experience and our system allows users to do just that – without putting patient’s lives at risk.”

Oxford Medical Simulation founders invited to Number 10 Downing Street in recognition of contribution to diabetes training

On Monday, 24th June 2019, Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) was invited to Number 10 Downing Street in recognition of their work to improve care for people with diabetes. The NHS England diabetes team are working with Oxford Medical Simulation to train doctors using virtual reality. Using VR headsets, doctors can now practice in simulated medical emergencies, learning from their virtual mistakes to improve care for patients in the real world.

The OMS virtual reality system is in use across the UK, Europe and North America. The diabetes scenarios, authored with clinical expertise from the NHS and input from patients, are being used in a multi-centre trial across the South of England. 

The event at Downing Street was organised by the Prime Minister to acknowledge the contribution of organisations and individuals to diabetes care. OMS Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jack Pottle, said: 

“It was an honour to be acknowledged by the Prime Minister for our work in improving care for people with diabetes. This recognition is a testament to the outstanding work of the world-leading team at OMS and our dedication to improving the quality and increasing the efficiency of healthcare training. Using cutting-edge virtual reality technology we are enabling healthcare professionals to learn from their mistakes without harming patients. Recognition from Number 10 further drives us in our mission to optimise clinical performance, reduce the cost of training and benefit patients globally.”

Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries said: “Oxford Medical Simulation is a great example of the ground-breaking digital companies that the UK is constantly producing, I was hugely impressed when I met the company and tried their technology earlier this year and it’s great that it will now provide training for doctors across the NHS as they treat patients with diabetes.”

The Joy of VR: what we learned when the leading virtual reality healthcare minds gathered in Los Angeles

We attended the Virtual Medicine conference at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles where we joined leaders in the virtual reality healthcare space to discuss the latest developments – and applications – of VR in patient care and medical education.

Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) was proud to join other leading thinkers excited about the potential of virtual reality in healthcare. The Virtual Medicine conference (vMed) brought together not only healthcare professionals, but also researchers, technical developers, business leaders and patients. This made showcasing our virtual reality scenarios for healthcare training during the event all the more special.

As always, we loved getting VR newbies into the system to demo how intuitive VR can be, and it was even more encouraging to get the endorsement of VR experts who live and breath virtual reality in healthcare.

We were excited that when healthcare professionals entered our scenarios for a quick taste they quickly became so immersed that they were determined to save the patient, or delve into the details to find out more. Surprised at the level of realism in one of our virtual patient’s histories, one user at vMed19 announced; “Whoa! I’m going to ask about his social history! I want to know what kind of recreational drugs he uses.” Only in Los Angeles!

Besides the kind words about our own platform, we received a fascinating update into the other ways in which VR is impacting healthcare for the better. From helping to manage pain associated with Crohn’s Disease, to facilitating reminiscence therapy in people with dementia, the applications of therapeutic VR just keep growing. Dr David Rhew (Chief Medical Officer at Samsung Electronics America) gave a compelling talk on the effects of VR on people with dementia, loneliness and concussion amongst a host of other applications. In the case of concussions, VR is now proving to be as effective as sleep, exercise and education. Former Cedars Sinai patient Harmon Clarke recalled how meditating and travelling in VR during his hospital stay, instead of relying solely on pain medication, accelerated his recovery from Crohn’s disease.

The Patient Panel on Day 2 was another highlight: the moving accounts of four patients who had experienced therapeutic VR really brought home the positive results that this technology can have.

Research on the efficacy and optimal methods of delivering VR therapy remains in its infancy and is a fascinating topic. The groundbreaking work done by Skip Rizzo on the applications of VR to treat PTSD and anxiety in particular and Mel Slater on VR in cognitive neuroscience and body-swapping keep us pushing the boundaries of what VR can do and how it can deeply affect individuals perceptions and abilities to learn.

Despite the excitement of the forefront on the technology, the ongoing message of matching appropriate immersive content and delivery to the individual’s needs remains central to all VR design. At OMS we couldn’t agree more. We often ask ourselves and others considering virtual reality “what are your learning objectives?” and ensure that everything we design meets a specific need.

Cedars Sinai Medical Centre proved to be a compelling setting for the event, too. Set against the backdrop of one of the largest academic health centres in the US, the discussions, revelations and real life stories felt even more relevant. It almost felt like we – as a global VR in healthcare community – were more galvanised, united and inspired by physically locating us within the system we’re seeking to change.

It was this collective feeling of inspiration and celebration that made vMed19 such an impactful conference. The world’s leading thinkers and innovators in VR medicine came together in one place to share new developments and celebrate success stories, and we left with a boosted motivation to continue our work in the space. Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Research at Cedars Sinai and the driving force behind the vMed conference summed up this feeling best when he offered some uplifting advice in his closing remarks: “VR offers joy. Leverage that like crazy.”

Read how Oxford University uses virtual reality to power blended learning and boost medical student education.