Cedars-Sinai turns to VR to train medical residents

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One hundred forty-six. That’s how many medical residents needed to undergo orientation training upon joining Cedars-Sinai Medical Center this spring.
Usually, that would mean 146 new doctors gathering for a one-day in-person orientation on how to use equipment, perform resuscitations, and have challenging conversations with patients. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders at the Los Angeles hospital opted to move roughly half of that training to a two-week remote learning program.
That not only included standard remote education practices like offering recorded lectures to watch online, but also developing new training modules that use virtual reality.
With VR, residents can essentially “jump into a virtual ICU or into a virtual operating room from anywhere,” said Russell Metcalfe-Smith, director of simulation at Cedars-Sinai.
Cedars-Sinai has been using simulation technologies for years to help clinicians practice surgeries. Last year it started working with Virti, a U.K. software startup that builds VR and augmented reality modules for corporate training, to add to its orientations.
Virti was one of 11 health tech startups included in the 2019 Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program, which meant it received a $100,000 investment from the hospital. And the Women’s Guild, a volunteer group at Cedars-Sinai, donated another $100,000 to the Cedars-Sinai simulation …

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