How serious are healthcare institutions about investing in emerging technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality? How about a $119 million investment worth of seriousness, in the form of a brand new center focused on virtual reality and augmented reality that the University of Nebraska Medical Center just broke ground for?
Named the Davis Global Center, the facility will focus on offering medical training simulations with the goal of improving quality and safety of patient care.
Funded by a combination of private and public sources (including U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), the building will house the Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning. This 192,000 sq ft facility is designed for nurses and physicians to train on the latest AR and VR devices. Features include a 130 seat holographic theater, a quarantine simulation center for infectious disease training, and a massive 280 degrees curved screen room for a VR experience outside of a headmounted display.
The use of holographic simulations is also planned, all with the goal of improving hands-on practice and encouraging active learning. There is even a giant 280-degree curved screen, offering a wrap-around viewing experience. Surgical simulators, “learning walls”, and a variety of headmounted displays are expected to be available per the press release.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is not the only institution betting big on advancements in VR and AR technology, but it’s one of the most substantial investments in furthering this technology within a healthcare setting that I’m aware of so far. We’ve previously covered how Cleveland Clinic, Stanford, and other hospitals are incorporating such devices into both patient care and clinical education, and will continue to do so as this field continues to advance.