Shaping your Virtual Reality Future in Healthcare (HILS Innovation Day)

Wednesday 05 February 2020

On Wednesday 5th February, NIHR CYP MedTech attended the Hull Institute of Learning and Simulation’s (HILS) inaugural Innovation day, at the University of Hull, to discuss how Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are poised to shape the future of Healthcare. The Innovation day attracted healthcare professionals and innovators from across Hull and Yorkshire, for a packed day of talks and workshops, highlighting the transformative potential and applications of VR/AR on our health services and in every area of the healthcare system! Industry representatives from across the UK also exhibited an array of exciting VR/AR technologies utilised in some of their latest products and developments.

The day began with warm greetings from Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean, Faculty of Health, University of Hull and Chris Long, Chief executive of Hull University Teaching Hospitals and featured a diverse range of talks from researchers employing the latest cutting edge technology and creativity, including:

  • VERT: The flight simulator for Radiotherapy. A novel 3D VR training simulator, developed from its early beginnings as a research collaboration, to a highly successful global business.
  • 3D printing: Solving spatial problems. Researching the use of 3D printing as an educational tool for anaesthetic trainees at HILS.
  • Immersive Art as Therapy. HatsumiVR explore the extended potential of VR as a tool to communicate pain and emotional experience.
  • Engaging content in rehabilitation and pain reduction. ImpactVR exploring the potential of VR for use in training patients requiring upper limb prosthetics, as well as the potential as a distractive tool, using immersive VR games for children during upper limb rehab therapy and during burn treatments.

The day continued with several workshops, including a visit to HIVE (Hull Immersive Visualisation Environment) research labs (Hull University), allowing attendees to get hands on with a range of HIVE’s latest VR/AR tech projects and developments, whilst also learning of the practical implications and limitations of mixed reality environments. The final workshops gathered delegates to discuss and identify new ways in which innovative technology could be employed to improve our healthcare systems and reduce costs for the NHS, whilst enhancing patient care and the patient experience.

The day concluded with and invitation from Dr. Dave Wright, Director of Simulation (HILS) and Consultant Anaesthetist to join a new Virtual reality networking group, established by HILS, to further explore the merits of integrating VR technology into healthcare systems. Their first meeting is scheduled for Thursday 31st March.