Introduction: An immersive virtual reality (VR) simulation clinic with dynamic patient interaction and communication was developed to facilitate the training of medical radiation science students. The software "CETSOL VR Clinic" was integrated into the Medical Imaging programme at Monash University in 2016 in order to benchmark student experiences against existing simulation techniques (Shaderware™). Methods: An iterative approach to development, based on two cycles of user feedback, was used to develop and refine the simulated clinical environment. This environment uses realistic 3D models, embedded clinical scenarios, dynamic communication, 3D hand gesture interaction, gaze and positional stereoscopic tracking and online user capabilities using the Unity™ game and physics engines. Students' perceptions of educational enhancement of their positioning skills following the use of the simulation tools were analysed via a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. Results: Student perception scores indicated a significant difference between simulation modalities in favour of the immersive CETSOL VR Clinic, χ2 (4, N = 92) = 9.5, P-value <0.001. Conclusion: Student perception scores on improvement of their clinical and technical skills were higher for the hand-positioning tasks performed with the CETSOL VR Clinic™ than with the comparative benchmark simulation that did not provide dynamic patient interaction and communication.
- Haptic feedback
- Medical imaging
- Student education
- Virtual-reality (VR) simulation