Immersive Technologies in Healthcare Training & Education: Three Principles for Progress

The Immersive Healthcare Collaboration, David Peebles

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally transformed the healthcare training and education landscape, resulting in a desperate need for a system-wide exploration of scalable, flexible, user-friendly and resilient solutions that mitigate the long-term impact on the development of a skilled healthcare workforce that can deliver high-quality patient care.

A new generation of “immersive technologies” – a collection of tools, sometimes grouped under the term eXtended Reality (XR), including enclosed 3D Virtual Reality (VR) environments through to digital projections that overlay the real-world to create “Augmented/Mixed Reality” (AR/MR) – have potential to address many of the challenges faced in healthcare training and education.

Despite their potential, challenges exist in the design, development, implementation, and understanding of immersive training environments and must be overcome if these technologies are to realise their potential.

System development and implementation must focus on learning outcomes (e.g. academic, social and emotional learning, reduction in drop-out rates, demonstration of non-inferiority and subsequently, superiority over traditional non-immersive training methodologies) and patient-care related processes (e.g. safer delivery, reduced morbidity and readmission rates).

Bold policies based on sound scientific evidence need to be developed, both in the short – and long-term – that are practically applicable and acceptable to the variety of stakeholders – to ensure that the power of immersive tools is harnessed for efficient and effective health education and training delivery.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Leeds
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021


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