Doctors in the UK Practicing Emergency Patient Care Using Virtual Reality
Doctors in the UK are now running through virtual reality simulations of emergency patient care for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes. The simulations were carried out by the NHS England diabetes team in collaboration with the medical tech company Oxford Medical Simulation that is aimed at training doctors on how to use virtual reality world-class patient management for emergency situations without putting patients’ lives at risk.
The medical simulation training now enables doctors to practice in various kinds of VR medical simulations before transferring the skills learned in the virtual environment into the actual emergency patient care. The simulation training has resulted in significant improvements in the care for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes.
The collaboration brought together the NHIS clinical expertise along with volunteer patient input and sophisticated VR software to create very realistic simulations of emergency patient care scenarios for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Doctors undergoing the training in the simulated environment can wear Oculus Rift headsets and practice the patient care routines as often as they wish in a safe virtual environment where they cannot put patients’ lives at risk.
The VR medical system is currently undergoing a pilot program via Health Education England in multiple centers. The development has been financed by Novo Nordisk. If empirical evidence prove the pilot plan successful, the system will be rolled out nationwide throughout 2019.
While the prognosis for someone suffering from Type 1 diabetes is generally good as long as the blood sugar can be kept within a manageable range, sufferers from the condition are more likely to develop life-threatening complications in the hospitals. Any extremes in the blood sugar level can be fatal for someone suffering from Type 1 diabetes which can pose medical emergencies. Those emergencies or complications are generally harder for medical practitioners to recognize early on and can result in fatalities if not treated in time. It is therefore imperative that frontline staff in medical establishments handling Type 1 diabetes patients is equipped with high-quality training that will help improve patient care in these kinds of situations.
Most doctors and nurses have never practiced how to manage diabetic emergencies until they have to do it in real-life, usually during serious health emergencies. That lack of preparation and training in quick response procedures can be fatal for patients.
NHS wants to ensure that the adoption of technology is at the core of its long term planning and the agency sees the embrace of virtual reality is a great step forward to modernizing NHS services while improving the quality of care for diabetes patients.
The Oxford Medical Simulation system was set up to offer better training for medical professionals that are handling emergency healthcare situations. The system helps train medical practitioners on how to recognize and intervene in some of the most difficult-to-spot and life-threatening medical emergencies such as when a Type 1 diabetes patient is suffering from blood sugar extremes-extreme high or low blood sugar levels. These emergencies are generally fatal for patients without prompt and appropriate interventions.
With the Oxford Medical Simulation system, the medical professionals can don the VR headsets and repeatedly run through the medical scenarios in VR. This kind of training will help doctors and nurses to be better prepared for such real-life emergencies.