Emergency medical services technolgies – advantages and disadvantages

Virtual reality and simulation: training the future EMS practitioners

  • #1416


    Digital technology makes its way into nearly every aspect of our society and our lives. The training of Emergency Medical Services personal is no exception. Virtual Reality makes its way into the top-rated EMS training programs, leaving behind the tradition of practicing on mannequins.

    Against this background the discussion seeks to outline the main advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality simulation in healthcare from the perspective of emergency medical personnel as end users of the technology.

    • This discussion was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  Alexander.
  • #1480

    Ismail Umit

    Digital technologies and digital platforms are new in determining health needs and providing healthcare creates opportunities.Preventive health services,digital technologies offer new and effective solutions in all health services, from early diagnosis to life-long maintenance.These technologies have potential to lead to transformations in the health system.It is important what digitalization is and what needs to be understood from the digitalization process.Healthcare industry faces challenges in availability, quality and cost of care. Healthcare professions struggle to provide healthcare efficiently to meet this challenges. On the other hand,expectations of individuals are growing about getting better health outcomes for themselves and their relatives. Individuals want to be better informed about their genetic profile, the diseases they have and might have, and the availability of healthcare. A new phenomenon, quantified self, allowsindividuals to measure and monitor their health status in real time and helps them to control their health. Functions of monitoring, tracking and warning about behavior changing in quantified self is provided by some tools like software and wearable technologies. Wearable technology includes items, such as jewelry, glasses and clothing- worn on, in and around the body- incorporating sensors and other electronic technologies.

  • #1504


    One concrete  area of ​​application where VR makes a huge contribution is the training and further education of surgeons in emergency care which is the case of a  hospital in Los Angeles. In a VR experience, doctors can simulate emergency scenarios in a virtual environment and realistically prepare for emergencies. Before introducing the Oculus Rift form of training, the American hospital used expensive and time-consuming dolls that were often damaged. More than $ 430,000 was spent on it each year.

  • #1543


    Digitization has a far-reaching impact on the education system. There are now numerous new digital teaching and learning formats. Highly immersive virtual realities offer various possibilities for simulation training.

    With modern VR glasses for example, this succeeds to a greater extent than in the desktop-based, low-immersive VR. Highly immersive VR enable the three-dimensional representation of different locations and a virtual patient (VP).

    With a VP, different symptom expressions can be displayed dynamically. By integrating virtual objects (e.g. emergency medical equipment) into the VR and other virtual agents (e.g. relatives of the patient), a variety of interaction options can be created in the virtual training environment. VR systems that are equipped with a motion tracking system also transmit the real movements of the training participants into the virtual environment and thus also allow them to be displayed as avatars in VR.

    Such a VR simulation environment was developed in the EPICSAVE project. The VR is designed as a multi-user environment so that it supports the acquisition of professional skills (e.g. clinical decision-making) for the emergency medical care of patients. The hardware equipment for a team training with 2 trainees consists of 2 VR glasses, 4 operating controllers and two PCs with a display for controlling the simulation by the trainers.

  • #1644


    Dear EMS Members,

    I agree with the numerous benefits derived from the application of VR in the training of EMS practitioners. However one needs also to consider the disadvantages of this technology.

    The special needs of the patients are often insufficiently taken into account. It has so far hardly been investigated how VR affects cognitively and emotionally different people. There are some main risks when using VR in medicine. For example the VR application changes the behavior of the user and jeopardizes his or her autonomous decision-making. The user also can build emotional ties to virtual characters and accepts them as supposedly real people. This could result in a social withdrawal from the real world.

    Therefore it is important to involve patients in the development of therapeutic systems at an early stage and to move away from developer-driven to patient-driven innovations.

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