Education consists of two main components – theory and practice. No matter what or where you learn, there comes a time when you need to switch from textbooks, videos, lectures, and demonstrations to doing something with your own hands. Healthcare education is no exception. Before becoming doctors, medical students spend years learning and practicing their skills. And even after graduation, more time is spent learning and improving on new methods.
Traditionally, healthcare professionals have practiced with all sorts of models, including cadavers. Practicing with patients can be rather risky due to possible errors. Also, patients may become worried about being treated by inexperienced or unpracticed professionals.
Luckily, we live in an era when technology can often replace or recreate real life. With augmented reality (AR), virtual objects are overlaid into the real world. This has become a great training tool, and its benefits are especially prominent in healthcare education. With AR, professionals can practice with virtual objects entirely resembling human bodies and organs without worrying about putting their patients’ health at risk.
Let’s look at some examples of augmented reality applications for healthcare education.
How Augmented Reality Improves Learning
AR has a few features in common with other successful technologies, like 3D apps, multimedia games, and animations, but AR builds upon them. It offers a type of collaborative learning that engages healthcare professionals and learners.
AR helps with the development of spatial skills needed to understand three-dimensional objects (like anatomical structures). Multimedia, like AR, puts the user in the driver’s seat and can build their understanding and confidence to learn the material well.
Learning from medical simulations focuses on how the visualization and interactivity offered by augmented reality enhance the user’s experience. One of the biggest selling points is that AR helps healthcare professionals see what they can’t with the naked eye.
AR provides extremely detailed visualizations that can make hard-to-understand concepts easier to grasp. Users can get views at many angles and sizes, allowing for a deeper understanding. The AR experience encourages curiosity, and it also accommodates many different learning styles.
What Evidence Shows that AR improves Learning?
A large anatomy-focused augmented reality study was conducted in 2015 at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich, pairing AR learning activities with a traditional cadaver lab. The technology allowed students to see diagnostic images in augmented reality.
Out of the 850 first-year medical students that took part in the research, a little over 80% reported that the AR tool increased learning motivation, and 93% said it increased their spatial understanding of anatomy.
A smaller anatomy-focused augmented reality study was conducted in 2015 with a few dozen undergraduate science students from three universities. The students were split into two groups. Both received some skeletal anatomy presentations.
One group studied with traditional methods, and a second group used an augmented reality skeletal model created for the study. A test was administered to both groups. Results showed that the second group performed almost twice as well as students in the first group.
These results, while conducted on students, can apply to healthcare professionals too. It is very clear that introducing AR into teaching lessons has led to an improvement in knowledge and confidence for whoever is using the simulations.
Contact Tipping Point Media Today for More Information About Augmented Reality
Tipping Point Media specializes in creating fully customized AR solutions that can help you reach your goals and objectives. We have been creating experiential learning used by both the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to help others better understand the human body and how to interact with it. Fill out this form to get the ball rolling on a demo for whatever you might have in mind.