VR video preps medical staffs in remote areas for COVID-19 surges

The University of Southern California and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania have filmed a 360-degree virtual reality video that demonstrates COVID-19 treatment practices to prepare medical staff in remote locations for surge responses, The Daily Pennsylvanian reports. 

The video was created specifically for healthcare providers who have been exposed to high levels of COVID-19 patients in critical condition. Medical staff can access the video on YouTube and USC's website through a computer screen or virtual headset. 

In the video, a physician demonstrates critical care resuscitation of a COVID-19 patient, depicted by a mannequin, suffering from respiratory distress, said Lauren Conlon, MD, emergency medicine assistant professor at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine also worked with the Philadelphia-based health system and Los Angeles-based USC on the project. 

The virtual reality aspect of the video allows medical staff to be more immersed in the training and better prepare for potential distractions in a high-pressure atmosphere while treating COVID-19 patients, said Kyle Cassidy, digital design specialist at USC's School of Communication. 

"In a lot of medical teaching, there is an in-person aspect to it, which often requires people to look in different directions, to be able to physically touch something, to see things move, to be able to make decisions, and see how those decisions affect outcomes,” Mr. Cassidy said.

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