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Oculus, Children's Hospital push for mandatory VR medical training program

The company and hospital are also expanding the program to 11 more institutions and health care centers.

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VR simulation medical course is now required for all the incoming residents at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. 

Oculus

VR technology may help medical students get more practice without risking real lives.

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) now requires all incoming residents to take a virtual reality training program Oculus and the hospital developed in partnership, according Oculus' blog post. And Facebook-owned Oculus and CHLA are now offering the program at 11 more medical institutions and health care networks, Oculus said.

"A limitation of many outpatient offices and care centers is lack of space for simulation rooms and simulation centers," said Dr. Josh Sherman, principal researcher on the project, in the blog. "Using Oculus Go for our VR modules will allow for on-the-spot training without the need for the extra real estate."

Oculus and CHLA will donate Oculus Go headsets and deploy the VR simulation to the 11 organizations, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Medical University of Vienna and more.

Although the initial purpose of VR training focused on resuscitation procedures for childhood seizure and shock, CHLA's researchers plan to expand the scope of the project and add more training modules for different medical procedures.

"Thanks to its uniquely immersive nature, VR can bridge the gap between medical school and hospital rounds by placing students and staff in realistic training scenarios that can replicate the stress, adrenaline, and time-sensitive circumstances of life-or-death situations -- without putting patient safety on the line," Oculus wrote in its blog post.

"Much of the research involving VR is still in the very early stages, so it's incredibly exciting to see such positive results from our work with CHLA and growing interest among healthcare professionals," Oculus Head of Public Policy James Hairston said in the blog.

CHLA didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. 

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