Virtual reality for medical training: How it benefits hospitals

While virtual reality use to train medical employees is still fairly new, some health organizations already are seeing benefits from the technology.

At Nicklaus Children's Hospital, for example, part of the Miami Children's Health System, virtual reality is being used to train employees on procedures that include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), nasal gastric tube insertion, starting an IV, wound care and more, according to a Fortune article.

In addition, virtual reality use at Miami Children's is improving retention rates, CEO Narendra Kini says in the article. The provider has seen retention hit close to 80 percent after a virtual training session, compared to 20 percent after traditional training.

"The level of understanding through VR is great because humans are primarily visual and VR is a visual format," Kini says. "Since there are not enough patients in many cases to maintain [certain] skill sets, virtual reality is a real addition to the arsenal."

Previously, in cases like tracheal insertion, training could only be done on a live person, a costly practice, the article adds. But with use of VR software, including a new project by Next Galaxy to train on mobile devices, costs can be cut.

Kini adds that use of VR in healthcare will only grow, including to communicate with patients and obtain consent.

VR treatment also has been shown to help provide relief for amputees suffering from phantom-limb pain, according to a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

To learn more:
- read the article