11 June 2020
If you want to become a doctor, you need not only medical knowledge but also a lot of specific skills – which are acquired primarily through professional practice. But you can’t, of course, count on the presence of patients at all times, and emergency callouts aren’t always the order of the day. Except, that is, in virtual reality, at least according to Nick Wiese. The media management graduate has teamed up with developer Arne Urff and his team from VIREED with the aim of both improving and accelerating medical training with the aid of VR technologies.
What is VIREED MED?
VIREED MED is a medical virtual reality learning solution for students, doctors and medical specialists, the purpose of which is to help them learn about, train in and simulate medical interventions and emergency situations without having to use expensive equipment or put the lives of patients at risk.
How did the idea come about?
I first developed a full-on interest in immersive media when I was still a student. Which was why I wrote my BA thesis on the subject. To sum it up in one sentence, I used 360-degree video technology to generate a virtual-reality lecture and compared the learning success of a group that attended this lecture with that of another group which had gone to a classic real-life version of the same lecture. The finding that both groups recorded comparable test results showed me without any doubt that immersive media have enormous potential for teaching. If even a linear, non-interactive 360-degree video solution can have this kind of effect, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the potential for learners of a genuine, interactive virtual-reality solution generated using 3D software. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to really investigate this whole area. And, particularly in medicine, this kind of technology promises to be a really good way to make training more realistic and efficient.
The world needs VIREED MED because ...
... it opens the door at a very early stage in the training to realistic and hands-on experience of the use of expensive equipment, medical interventions and, above all, emergency situations that it’s very difficult or even impossible to train people in realistically. Training the emotions also has an important role here.
What should students, doctors and specialists learn using virtual reality, and how should they do it?
For users, it works like this: they visit the VIREED MED learning station , select their scenario of choice, put on their virtual reality headset and immerse themselves in a virtual world that doesn’t have to be limited in the way the real world is. This is a place which offers everything from training in anatomy and basic medical measures through to complex interdisciplinary cooperation and has been developed for the sole purpose of offering the best possible learning experience.
"Our aim has always been to make it as easy as possible to experience our virtual reality world."
Where do things stand with the development?
Our basic VIREED MED package , which combines virtual reality hardware with our innovative learning software, will be launched later this year. Our aim has always been to make it as easy as possible to experience our virtual reality world.
And the biggest challenge is...
... to dump outmoded teaching concepts and, especially, to show the potential of virtual reality technology in teaching in a way that’s as easy to follow as possible.
Which digital product has yet to be invented?
Completely automated AI bookkeeping.
And which products can you do without?
Pointless apps for IoT devices. These are sadly only helpful in the rarest of cases and generally make daily life more difficult. I’d say “yes” to digitalisation but not as a point of principle.
How smart is your home?
I’ve always been fascinated by technology. So it won’t surprise you to hear that I try out a lot of innovations. But if they don’t have the desired effect, they quickly get uninstalled again.
Which technical application will always remain a mystery for you?
Wireless routers. They really do have a mind of their own.
When were you last offline for 24 hours?
I have to admit that was a good while ago. I’m always thinking of things I want to research. 96 percent of them are relevant to VIREED.
A holiday without Wi-Fi: Is that a dream or a nightmare?
A nightmare, no question. At least to start with.
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