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Singapore hospital enhances clinical training with immersive tech

Nurdianah Md Nur | May 23, 2017
Tan Tock Seng Hospital is using a mix of virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality technologies to provide training that mimics real-world scenarios.

Singapore's Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has been leveraging immersive tech — which includes virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) — since May to enhance clinical training.

The move is the result of TTSH's collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and local tech and visual effects company SideFX Studios.

TTSH is using immersive technology to enable realistic training scenarios for complex airway management, which is one of the most critical component in the resuscitation of a deteriorating patient in an emergency, life threatening situation.

The hospital is also using immersive technology to provide realistic practice scenarios for suturing and hygiene so as to equip trainee doctors with basic surgical skills.

To ensure that the simulations are close to real-world situations, TTSH consultant specialists and their teams from emergency medicine and surgery will provide healthcare domain knowledge to guide and test the development of the immersive tech simulations.

TTSH hopes that immersive technology will offer more sophisticated training as it can simulate real and complex scenarios, such as bleeding and swelling, while requiring less clinicians to conduct trainings.

The technology is also aimed at helping the hospital reduce costs by replacing the need to perform incisions directly on physical manikins that have expensive skin replacement parts.   

"Traditional clinical training is resource-intensive and costly, and might not be able to replicate scenarios realistically. This collaboration will develop immersive simulations for basic surgical skills and complex airway management, which is critical in life-threatening emergencies," said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange event earlier today (23 May 2017).

Despite the above-mentioned benefits, immersive technology will only complement traditional methods of clinical training. This is because VR is unable to replicate a number of qualities such as tactile responses, as well as patient and dynamic environmental changes.


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