The “virtual patient” can play out different realistic scenarios of meeting with a doctor. The technology is available through a virtual reality headset, PC, or tablet.
The creator of The Virtual Patient, a trauma doctor and orthopedic surgeon Alex Young from Bristol, UK, said the pandemic “had created specific problems that technology is helping to solve.” “It is no longer safe and impractical to keep 30 medics in a room with an actor, honing the trainees’ clinical skills,” he stresses.
The program is designed to develop the soft skills of medical students. Usually, in such cases, they resort to the help of actors playing the role of patients. These sessions educate physicians in patient communication: explaining diagnoses and treatment plans, building trust and dealing with difficult situations.
The technology is being used by hospitals and the Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the safe continuation of education without in-person study while social distancing is required.
Dr. Young, whose company developed the technology, explains: “With our virtual patient technology, we have created a realistic experience that provides real-time feedback. Doctors and students will continue to acquire valuable skills more safely.”