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Mixed Reality Medical App Gets Remote Treatment


The company that produces HoloPatient has developed a remote version for pandemic-era teaching. GigXR's original HoloPatient allows medical and nursing students to interact with a holographic patient via virtual and augmented reality. The new HoloPatient Remote is intended to provide students with safe and physically distanced versions of that immersion as a replacement for normal clinical studies. As the instructor interacts with the virtual patient, students can view both the teacher and the patient on a smartphone or tablet, in the same room or remotely.

HoloPatient Remote, which has versions for iOS and Android, extends the reach of HoloPatient beyond Microsoft HoloLens 2 devices. Students connect with their instructor, who is wearing a Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset, and use the mixed reality features of their device to select a location in their room for the holographic patient to sit, stand or lie down for examination. According to the company, the learners can individually walk around, examine and interact with the patient while communicating with their instructor through voice-over-IP.

The company has also released gig Mobile, which instructors can use to control applications like HoloPatient Remote and interact with the gigXR Immersive Learning System, an extended reality teaching system for enhancing traditional clinical instruction. Gig Mobile, also for iOS and Android, allows all users — students, instructors and administrators — to interact with the company's gig "immersive learning system" with various features. Instructors can create a session template of content that is replicable and can be assigned to specific student groups. Students can join training sessions remotely for applications such as HoloPatient. Data is collected about changes made by users during a session, such as vital signs and remote labels that are placed in the scene. Sessions can be launched with a QR code.

"While students are required to stay safe and socially distanced, gigXR's HoloPatient is the closest, highest-quality learning experience you can get to training with real patients," said Linda Herrmann, clinical associate professor at New York University's College of Nursing, in a press release. "GigXR's use of volumetric 3D video to capture standardized patients creates pathology experiences that are unimaginably lifelike for physically safe and safe-to-fail environments. Enabling students to hear, see and interact with holographic culturally diverse patients, and each other, provides some of the most cutting-edge and effective teaching and training modalities in our field."

"GigXR's HoloPatient has been a useful addition to allow students a consistent realistic experience that is less time- and resource-intensive as other modalities," added Jane Frost, associate professor in nursing at the University of Canberra. "GigXR's latest enhancement, HoloPatient Remote, has increased its usability in online learning and enables students to continue to engage in realistic simulation experiences while learning remotely."

"Guidelines around how instructors teach and engage with their students, whether online or on campus, are shifting daily. Most are ending up with a hybrid model at best while still needing tools that optimize learning" added David King Lassman, CEO and founder of gigXR. "This is especially challenging for fields that benefit from in-person, immersive training such as healthcare, where standardized patient training can't be taught effectively over Zoom. We developed HoloPatient Remote and gig Mobile so students can complete and even accelerate simulation training, in many cases meeting graduation requirements."

HoloPatient Remote and gig Mobile are free to students and instructors at institutions that license the gigXR learning system and HoloPatient application. A discounted "starter package" is currently available to institutions that purchase during the fall term.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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