Barco and AVI-SPL are outfitting the University of Toledo’s new Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (IISC) with the world’s first five-sided, seamless, stereoscopic LED CAVE display and interactive 3D walls. Housed within the Virtual Immersive Reality Center, the Barco equipment will enable learners at all levels of training to engage in simulated medical scenarios using 3D modelling technologies throughout their education.
The IISC is built upon UT’s “Tri-Center” concept, which offers students a unique learning setting developed to ensure patient safety and improve care outcomes. This is accomplished by using the widest range of advanced simulation environments while driving innovation in interprofessional learning, clinical practice and research. While individual technological components of the facility may exist at other simulation centres, UT is among the first to bring together this range of simulation technologies into what it calls the “Tri-Center” concept.
The centre comprises three levels of translational modelling and simulation: The Virtual Immersive Reality Center; Advanced Clinical Simulation Center and the Progressive Anatomy & Surgical Skills Center.
The Virtual Immersive Reality Center, which features the Barco I-Space display ‘virtual room’, will be used to simulate entire environments such as operating suites, while the Barco CADWalls and Curved Display Wall will portray 3D computer images of skeletons, organs, arteries and medical conditions, allowing participants to ‘walk through’ parts of the body for a truly immersive learning and training experience. 3D visualisation of anatomy will be projected to show normal and abnormal pathology as well as CT scan reading. AVI-SPL is providing complete design, implementation and support services for the Barco solutions at UT-IISC.
In the Advanced Clinical Simulation Center, learners will experience ‘hands-on’ training using human patient simulators in simulated healthcare settings, and then learn surgical procedures in the Progressive Anatomy & Surgical Skills Center. Learners from among all healthcare disciplines – medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health professions – are able to utilise a progressive education approach, moving sequentially through these three simulation modalities to experience medical training.
In addition, learners can return to the IISC as needed to practice their skills (as individuals or in teams), to learn new surgical techniques while being exposed to medical technologies and other emerging treatment modalities, thereby keeping up to date and proficient with the latest advances in medicine.
The IISC positions UT at the cutting edge of medical and other health professional schools, which are challenged with ensuring the relevance of their training programs to ultimately deliver safe and cost-effective healthcare, in light of a predicted shortage of health care providers.
“Our goal is to provide the best possible education and training so that patients are the beneficiaries of high quality, affordable care,” commented Dr Pamela Boyers, executive director of the University of Toledo Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.
“All of this amazing technology is not limited to studying medicine; modeling and simulation are used extensively in other industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing and aviation,” she continued. “These resources will be available to all colleges on the UT campus, offering transformative opportunities spanning engineering, the arts, humanities, and natural sciences as well.”
In addition to supporting the University of Toledo faculty, students, and staff, the IISC works closely with first responders, local healthcare organisations, and the US military to develop strategies for process improvement in addition to collaborating with surgical instrument companies and other types of manufacturers, like Barco, on product development. “Working collaboratively with experts in fields other than healthcare helps us broaden our knowledge and skills as we expand our capabilities,” said Boyers.
“It is truly a privilege to partner with the University of Toledo in their quest to revolutionise medical training and interprofessional education,” commented Hans Dekeyser, vice president sales industrial & government for Barco North America. “We are committed to supporting their quest to improve health outcomes through dedicated teaching and research, as well as enhance the learning experience across other disciplines. Our virtual reality solutions enable the university to attain these goals at the highest standard.”