Keeping it real - effective healthcare simulations

Keeping it real – how interactive video and immersive learning support healthcare simulations 

Healthcare Simulations - Student Nurses

Healthcare simulations are more effective and accessible through interactive video and VR

When words on a page aren’t enough, we learn by experience. In addition to factual knowledge, learners require complex situations to sharpen their intellectual processing skills. In healthcare, this means much of a learner’s education comes from patient interaction. 

The problem here is that when students face complex scenarios requiring real-time problem-solving, they risk errors that could hurt the patient. 

In the past, institutions had to find a careful balance between textbook and experiential learning– one that properly educated students while safeguarding the patients. Thanks to healthcare simulations, educators no longer have to choose. 

Interactive video and VR transport students into scenario-based learning simulations from anywhere, enabling virtual patient interaction without putting a single patient at risk.

How to use healthcare simulations, VR, and interactive video for learning 

Simulations allow the participant to engage in the same actions and cognitive processes that might be faced in a real-life scenario. Their actions within the simulation can be judged based on their competency, then used to provide further healthcare training tailored to their specific mistakes. 

While highly effective for teaching new skills without risk, healthcare simulations get expensive. They’re ranked based on their fidelity (a metric for how realistic they seem). The better the fidelity, the more expensive the simulation. Unless, that is, you go the video route. 

Students use mannikins in healthcare simulation settings

Research indicates that AR and VR in healthcare will grow at a CAGR of 30.7% by 2025. Interactive video simulations carry all the benefits of regular healthcare simulations. Students are placed in the same stressful situations and given the same tasks. They make choices that impact their virtual patient outcomes, then learn from those choices. The difference? They don’t need expensive equipment or manpower to do so. 

Interactive video and VR make healthcare simulations affordable

With physical simulations, institutions are bound by budget and what their hardware is equipped to mimic. An instructor has to replace fluids regularly, resetting the simulation so that students can continue learning. 

Interactive video has no such limits. Educators can create and distribute as many videos as they need, without having to buy additional equipment or carry out regular maintenance. 

Healthcare simulation - interactive video example

Interactive video and VR make healthcare simulations accessible

In addition to being less expensive than physical simulations, immersive learning video is more accessible. Students can practice anytime, from anywhere. Educators can embed videos right into whatever platform they use. 

Because the videos can be played again and again without supervision or maintenance, students can practice as much as they need.

How it works

Interactive video simulations are videos equipped with branching scenarios that mimic how a situation could play out in real life. By viewing, students place themselves in the situation. By answering questions, they dictate how the scenario plays out. 

While certain scenarios require a physical simulation (like CPR, where the amount of pressure is crucial), many scenarios can be mastered through interactive video or VR alone. In some cases, VR is actually the most effective learning environment. Laparoscopic surgery is an example of this, as VR helps students feel the depth as they move their hands. 

Interactive video mimics the high-pressure situations students might encounter on the job. A nurse in training, for example, can practice emergency scenarios that require quick problem-solving. 

This data is automatically tracked, providing a record of student performance. Analytics reveal competency gaps across an entire class/workforce. Educators can then design new interactive video and VR scenarios that target those gaps.

How to scale to be the most efficient 

Creating healthcare training simulations with Near-Life’s interactive video software is easier than you might think. 

Step 1: Choose a goal

Start by identifying the goal of your video. What skill do you want to teach? What decisions do users need to make to develop the necessary competencies? How will you measure the competencies?

Step 2: Create a story

Next, develop a scenario to facilitate the decision-making. Your eLearning authoring tool will be separated into projects and scenarios. The project categories your interactive videos. Scenarios are the videos themselves. To create your scenario, open Near-Life’s branching scenario software and create a node for each scene your video will include. When a decision arises, create a branch so that the user can choose their own path.

Step 3: Add media

You can choose between graphics, standard video, or 180°/360° video as your media. Within the media editor, you can add overlays as text, hotspots, or button groups. Viewers will use these overlays to interact with the media you upload.

The key to making interactive video for healthcare as effective as possible is creating video that closely resembles reality. Film the scenario with actors or use graphics that accurately depict your scenario. If you already have a patient simulator, you can use it to film your content as well.

Incorporate sound and time limits to create the high-stress environment students need to test their competency.

Step 4: Analyse

Once you’ve completed and distributed your video, tap into Near-Life’s analytics platform to track how learners are developing their competencies. Identify trends that need addressing and edit your interactive scenarios accordingly. 

Step 5: Put it all together

While VR hardware is ideal, with Near-Life, 180°/360° video is still consumable through WebVR on computers and android devices. Standard interactive video is accessible from any device. Use this knowledge to craft your healthcare simulation strategy.

In-person simulations can utilise both VR and patient simulators for creating highly realistic experiential learning. While slightly less realistic, interactive video allows learners to improve their skills anytime, from anywhere. Together, these methods become a healthcare simulation powerhouse that educates more people in less time for less money.

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