Women's Health

Hong Kong Polytechnic University uses virtual reality to improve nursing education

Hong Kong Polytechnic University recently developed a virtual learning system that uses virtual reality technology to improve nursing education amid the ongoing global pandemic.

PolyU’s Virtual Hospital Learning System is said to offer an “innovative experimental approach to nursing education”.


Considered the first of its kind in Hong Kong, the virtual reality-based learning system simulates an actual hospital ward. With a total of 11 games, it offers five learning scenarios, namely Clinical Placement Orientation, Delirium Challenges, Multitasking Management, Error Prevention, and Potential Heart Attack.

According to a press release, the system has more than 1,200 combinations of random situations and multiple choices.

The system displays student responses and decisions on a television screen, and records their interaction with their virtual patients for review.

Moreover, it also allows teachers to easily track student progress and assess learning outcomes using game data and its automated assessment feature.


The research team behind Virtual Hospital designed the learning system specifically for nursing students.

Dr. Kitty Chan, a lead teacher at the PolyU School of Nursing who co-leads the research team, noted that most existing VR learning systems are “skills- and procedure-driven, and adopt a single framework patient management”.

Through Virtual Hospital, students are trained to manage multiple beds and care for multiple patients simultaneously. The system also generates unexpected incidents and clinical pitfalls to test students’ abilities to apply practical knowledge and prioritize nursing tasks amid disruptions in a limited time.

“Through virtual reality experiential learning, students can improve soft skills that are critical to their clinical practice, including situational awareness, flexibility to handle emergencies, as well as decision-making skills. decision and communication,” Dr Chan said.

The virtual hospital has been used by more than 450 nursing students since its launch in January.

Dr Justina Liu, co-lead researcher and associate professor at the same nursing school, said she hoped the virtual hospital “could further help our students master the skills required for clinical nursing and , above all, to reduce errors in real clinical situations”.

She shared that they plan to incorporate additional “interprofessional and interdisciplinary elements” into the learning system in the future and introduce the virtual hospital to other nursing facilities in the greater Greater Area. bay.


Other medical institutions across Asia-Pacific have developed virtual reality-based programs to enable uninterrupted training amid the pandemic. Last year the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan has unveiled its cloud-based clinical training platform with Jolly Good’s Operation Cloud VR system, which provides a virtual view of live procedures via a 360-degree VR camera.

In Australia, four tertiary hospitals use The Vantari VR training platform for intensive care with the aim of reducing training time. The same VR startup launched a new right heart catheter training program on its platform late last year.

The The National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore and VR medical content platform Kyalio are currently collaborating to develop neurosurgery training modules as part of their research collaboration. They aim to build a library of at least 100 neurosurgery training modules on Kyalio, covering a diverse set of cases.


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