STEP-VR - Training of Medical Emergencies using Virtual Reality
Emergency medicine as well as critical incidents in everyday clinical routine require practical knowledge, the ability for triage of patients and efficient self-organization. Studies have shown a lack of these skills among the majority of medical graduates, which might lead to psychological stress and even increase the risk of malpractice upon career entry.
Together with ThreeDee, a startup for 3D-visualization, we developed a training simulation for medical students, combining the strengths of latest Virtual Reality devices and real-time dynamic physiology: STEP-VR. Thus, in a true-to-life hospital environment, medical students and young physicians can acquire practical knowledge and gain self-confidence by treating virtual emergency patients. The program offers multiple levels of feedback, based on both official guidelines and authentically responding patient physiology. Moreover, supervision and subsequent evaluation by a mentor can ensure a thorough understanding of critical situations.
In October 2019, the prototype of STEP-VR was awarded the “Innovationspreis Digitale Gastroenterologie 2019” by the German Society of Gastroenterology (DGVS). In cooperation with the Institute of Medical Teaching and Education Research of the University of Wuerzburg and our academic partners (Universities of Ulm and Leipzig) we are evaluating and implementing the VR training as a complemental course for students in their internship year in early 2020.