Adapting to the 'New Normal'—Immersive Virtual Reality Covid-19 Training (1090-004041)
CE Hours: 0.25 Session Type: SimVentors
Sars-COV2 is a respiratory virus responsible for the illness known as COVID-19 and the recent global pandemic resulting in new social and medical regulations. Recognizing and managing COVID-19 can be difficult for medical professionals, while understanding the virus and necessary precautions can be challenging for the general public and alarming for young children. Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging modality in medical simulation and its potential is untapped. VR currently can replace standardized patients and physician-monitored simulations in some cases and has the advantage of being easily mass-distributed. While there have been leaps in medical training utilizing VR, patient education has remained focused on the “teach-back” method. This method is long-overdue for a new and alternative teaching style, such as VR. In developing this training, we aimed to educate medical professionals, the general public, and children on COVID-19 by creating multiple interactive and distributable courses in VR. We utilized a VR education software (Enduvo, Inc., Peoria IL), to build three curriculum courses consisting of competency-based training modules with different educational objectives for each targeted audience: (1) Medical professionals (a) virology (b) disease spectrum and recognition (c) diagnostic criteria and testing (d) management and treatment (e) pediatric disease (2) General public (a) virology basics (b) clinical presentation (c) management and treatment (d) prevention (3) Kids (a) COVID overview (b) clinical presentation (c) prevention Using a VR space, we combined custom 2D artifacts with multiple 3D models to target and individualize each curriculum. We designed respiratory anatomy diagrams, testing algorithms, disease spectrum images, and other supplemental 2D artifacts. We also created COVID symptom example videos of both adult and pediatric standardized patients to specifically characterize symptoms based on mild, moderate, and severe presentations as well as additional videos targeted at appropriate preventive measures. These 2D artifacts were then combined with a 3D model of the virus, and for the COVID for kids curriculum, the addition of a 3D mask, sink, hand, and doctor were used to create a more interactive space to maintain a child’s attention. The artifacts were assembled in the VR space and an instructor created a structured sub-five-minute audio and visual lecture for each module (a-e). Each module is then followed by a competency measurement consisting of interactive multiple-choice questions. We believe this approach has the potential to improve clinical simulation for multiple different audiences. Moreover, there are a number of takeaways we can conclude from our project that provide a variety of future directions utilizing this technique. 1. Virtual reality has the potential to train multiple audiences. With small changes in the content and instructor audio you are able to target different age groups as well as educational backgrounds. This can be used for not only COVID training but may provide a basis for patient education on other healthcare topics as well. 2. Our methodology in content creation provided an easily-editable platform that allowed for updating the training modules as new information on COVID-19 became readily available. This methodology can be adapted and applied to several medical simulation topics that will save time and resources in the future. 3. The very nature of the COVID-19 pandemic created a newfound challenge of appropriate education and training while maintaining social distancing. Instead of individuals traveling to traditional simulation and training, VR provides an alternative platform that can deliver the appropriate information to individuals. This process could further be modified and delivered to individuals who experience the difficulties of obtaining in-person training such as rural and even some global communities.