Virtual Reality as an Educational and Training Tool for Medicine
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Until very recently, we considered Virtual Reality as something that was very close, but it was still science fiction. However, today Virtual Reality is being integrated into many different areas of our lives, from videogames to different industrial use cases and, of course, it is starting to be used in medicine. There are two great general classifications for Virtual Reality. Firstly, we find a Virtual Reality in which we visualize a world completely created by computer, three-dimensional and where we can appreciate that the world we are visualizing is not real, at least for the moment as rendered images are improving very fast. Secondly, there is a Virtual Reality that basically consists of a reflection of our reality. This type of Virtual Reality is created using spherical or 360 images and videos, so we lose three-dimensional visualization capacity (until the 3D cameras are more developed), but on the other hand we gain in terms of realism in the images. We could also mention a third classification that merges the previous two, where virtual elements created by computer coexist with 360 images and videos. In this article we will show two systems that we have developed where each of them can be framed within one of the previous classifications, identifying the technologies used for their implementation as well as the advantages of each one. We will also analize how these systems can improve the current methodologies used for medical training. The implications of these developments as tools for teaching, learning and training are discussed.
KeywordsVirtual reality medical simulator Stereoscopic vision Immersive system Medical training Virtual training tool 360 images
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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