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VR helps medical teams prepare for Covid-19

Tuesday, 15 September 2020  
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Picture: CCDHB senior registrar Sapi Mukerji


A Virtual Reality medical scenario is helping Kiwi clinicians practice caring for Covid-19 positive patients.

The scenarios use new learning software created by ShowHow in Wellington and a course designed by Capital & Coast DHB. 

Covid-19 has presented challenges in medical training, where clinicians have had to quickly learn new techniques to stay safe while carrying out standard procedures.

Usually, doctors and nurses would meet to practice scenarios and new techniques, 

However, CCDHB senior registrar Sapi Mukerji says this is increasingly difficult in a Covid world that requires social distancing, so the DHB worked with ShowHow to create VR scenarios that feel like the real world.

“Simulation is a powerful tool for us to learn and make mistakes off the job, and VR gives us a new tool in that training pathway,” he says. 

“Covid has altered how we could do team-based simulation, especially with social distancing. It was important to have a different tool that would allow us to do simulation training without actually all being the same place.”

He says early course participants have appreciated being able to use the tool in their home environment.

CCDHB simulation clinical lead Brad Peckler says the key difficulties with running simulations are time and money.

“The expertise is there, but getting people out of a clinical situation and into a training session requires a lot of time, so the biggest issues are getting people together in the same place.”

He says when dealing with Covid-19 patients, simply “getting in and out of the room safely with the protective gear on and still maintaining safety for the patient and providing good care is actually quite difficult.”

Peckler says the technology is useful for demonstrating the differences and making sure people understand.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story, please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.

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