Humans are leveraging future tech to help us stay fit, healthy and live longer.

From more efficient and effective Surgical training through to advancements in patient care (via the simulation of degenerative conditions and physical impairments), immersive technologies are transforming the 21st Century medical and healthcare industries. We’re building a large scale medical feature to showcase some of the most cutting-edge applications for future tech in the fight against disease, injury and ageing.

MEDICAL REALITIES

Pioneers in medical technology, Medical realities will be joining us at Future Tech Now, hosting  LIVE VR surgery demos, showcasing the incredible work they are doing to drive tech solutions for safer and more effective surgical training.

ABOUT MEDICAL REALITIES

  • Medical Realities aims to solve a global scalability challenge:
  • We specialise in creating interactive VR surgical training experiences.
  • We utilise smartphones and VR/AR to provide innovative medical and surgical training.
  • Our products give students access to first-class surgical training, regardless of physical location or financial situation.

LIFE

LIFE was developed by a group of academics and doctors from Oxford University and Kenya working on how mobile and virtual reality technology can be used to deliver high-quality, low-cost simulation-type training for healthcare workers in low-income countries. In 2016, the LIFE project won the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge and went on to win HTC’s VR for Impact competition in 2017. It is now supported by a wide range of global health organisations including the Wellcome Trust, Medicins Sans Frontieres, USAID, DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

LIFE has been featured on BBC News and in print and web publications as an example of how new tech can provide healthcare training to workers who previously would not have access.
“Virtual reality has vast potential in the medical field, and the LIFE game is a great example of how an interactive game can expedite training to thousands of healthcare workers that will reap big benefits to society,” Cher Wang, Chairwoman & CEO, HTC

THE LIFE PLATFORM: LIFE is a scenario-based mobile and VR gaming platform that will teach healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies using game-like training techniques to reinforce the key steps which need to be performed in order to save lives.

LIFEMOBILE: Healthcare workers can download LIFE scenarios to their mobile phones and play them wherever they want. The mobile app uses novel approaches to mobile learning to keep users engaged and to ef ciently convey the key knowledge they need to manage a medical emergency.

LIFEVR: The Virtual Reality version of LIFE is being developed to allow healthcare workers to connect over low-bandwidth internet connections with experienced trainers in a VR hospital where they can learn how to manage medical emergencies in a realistic setting. This “live” instruction mimics the approach taken with face-to-face training courses.

SCENARIOS: LIFE is designed to host a number of different scenarios for learning how to manage a range of medical emergencies. The rst scenario we are developing for the LIFE platform is Neonatal Resuscitation. In this scenario, the user takes on the role of a healthcare professional who is on their own and has to save the life of a newborn baby who is not breathing. The user has to correctly answer a series of questions, nd the right equipment to perform a resuscitation in a virtual 3D ward and then use the equipment to successfully save the baby.

PARTNERSHIPS: We are currently working with a range of organisations including: The University of Washington, Indiana University, HTC, Laerdal Global Health, USAID, DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and deliver high-quality smartphone and low-cost VR training to healthcare workers.

APPATTIC

Can we turn patients into players and physical rehabilitation into a game by creating an immersive VR experience? This is what AppAttic co-founders Dr. Rachel Gawley and Carley Morrow set out to discover when their proposal was accepted as part of a large European research project. The result is a VR game that leverages next-generation consumer technology and will debut at this year’s SXSW conference.

Taking expertise from neurological physiotherapists and a ‘game first’ approach, AppAttic has leveraged bleeding edge technology to create Magic Moovr, a mass appeal, virtual reality game that adapts to the physical ability of the player. The movement-based mobile VR experience has been developed through a co-creative process involving patients, clinicians and the general public. It can be played at all stages of the patient’s rehabilitation journey whilst being enjoyed by friends, family and carers in a social and entertaining environment. The game has been researched and developed through the Horizon 2020 ‘MAGIC PCP’ challenge. Successful projects are expected to enter clinical trial in the UK and Italy during 2018/19 to assess their impact on the rehabilitation of patients recovering from stroke

“Our ultimate vision is to empower patients and their loved ones by turning them into players and participants. Magic Moovr takes them out of reality and into a virtual world where they can see different, play different and be different.” – AppAttic CEO, Carley Morrow

Magic Moovr is designed for the new Pico Neo, which is the first all-in-one VR headset to have 6DoF head and controller tracking. The game is versatile and can leverage controller-less interaction and will be demonstrated using one of Leap Motion’s upcoming 180-degree embeddable VR/AR modules, which has been shared with AppAttic to showcase the power and simplicity of hands in VR for stroke rehabilitation.

“We’re leveraging emerging six degrees of freedom (6DoF) mobile VR headsets and advanced hand tracking to create a fully immersive, wireless and controller-less experience. These near-future technologies are in advanced stages of development and are expected to become ubiquitous personal entertainment and productivity devices in the coming years.” – AppAttic CTO, Rachel Gawley

AppAttic co-founder’s Dr Rachel Gawley and Carley Morrow are attending SXSW as one of 10 companies selected by the UK Department of Trade and as a showcase company for Immersed In Northern Ireland. Interactive demonstrations will be taking place across the city of Austin.

DUAL GOOD HEALTH

Teaching basic life support is currently an expensive and time-consuming proposition. The methods used to teach the various medical techniques in hospitals have not changed in many years and often don’t incorporate modern educational psychology.

Another challenge that exists when teaching basic life support (in particular CPR) is the lack of accurate feedback. CPR requires you to perform a sequence of compressions and breaths at a specific rate and at a particular depth. Without using digital technology to measure these factors, it can be difficult to know if the exercise is being done correctly and thus whether speed and compression depth can be improved.

We created Code Blue – a VR app for basic life support training that engages the trainee in a live scenario. Our mission is to make CPR training as accessible as possible and we are striving to increase general public engagement by using real-time feedback across a variety of scenarios.

Accurate chest compression tracking is achieved using a physical CPR mannequin (Little Anne) in combination with HTC Vive trackers attached to the trainee’s wrists. Using this system, precise movement and speed can be measured by the VR software.

We can also make a more accurate assessment by tracking a variety of additional factors (such as speed of action) and increase the difficulty of the exercise – for example by escalating the stress impact of the scenario. We are currently developing two scenarios: A hospital environment for the training of medical professionals and a home environment for training the general public.