Virtual Reality Enters the Medical Field By now you have probably heard of virtual reality (VR), or perhaps even experienced it firsthand. VR systems range from do-ityourself set-ups such as Google Cardboard (which uses your own smartphone) to more advanced consumer-facing headsets, such as the HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift. After experimenting with my Oculus Rift and Touch controllers, which allow you to use your hands in virtual reality, I became interested in applications of VR for medicine and health. I reached out to an early entrant in this space called Bioflight VR and had the opportunity to speak with their co-founder and chief creative officer, Rik Shorten. How did you get involved in developing for virtual reality? I was introduced to the first Oculus DK1 at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013. It was then that I decided my team and I needed to create something in VR. Coming from an entertainment background, working on shows like CSI and ER, we imagined an entertainment experience. Once we started loading all the biological models that we used on these shows into stereoscopic VR, we realized there was something more valuable there than just entertainment. Please describe what Bioflight has already created. Who have you worked with? Bioflight is currently working on several major pilots. The first is our collaboration with Oculus and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. We’re just coming out of an alpha test on a pediatric trauma trainer. The physicians will be testing this in the hospital with residents. We also have patient behavior pilots and chronic disease state education, and we will be starting a large-scale oncology project later this year. What opportunities do VR and augmented reality (AR) present for cardiology? One of the first models we ever virtualized was a CT scan of a patient’s heart. We watched a complete cardiac diastole at room scale inside the HTC VIVE. The radiologists and cardiovascular specialists who have seen these early prototypes have been blown away by the potential that VR technologies represent in education, training and, most importantly, diagnosis. Where do you see BioFlight in the next year? Next five years? Our vision involves a foundational platform for education, training, simulation and diagnostics. We’re building tools for our partners and clients that allow for rapid onboarding into the VR and AR space. In three to five years, Bioflight will be the trusted brand that medical companies, educators, doctors and surgeons use to share and advance medical excellence around the world. CV Summit Tackles the Business Side of Medicine, QI and Operational Excellence ACC’s 2017 Cardiovascular Summit brought together hundreds of cardiovascular professionals from across the U.S., along with a wide array of experts in the field of cardiology, business practices and leadership, to discuss how best to achieve operational excellence, ensure cost efficiency and improve patient outcomes during a time of rapid and continual change in the health care system. The two-and-a-half day meeting, held in Orlando, FL, featured small group workshops and interactive sessions on topics centered around four primary areas: National Aim Issues, Business of Medicine, Operational Excellence and Leadership, and Quality and Efficiency. Additionally, two pre-conference workshops focused on growing and empowering leaders and understanding “Cardiology Business Basics,” including contract negotiations and cardiovascular service line development. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was one of the hottest topics of discussion at the meeting, with attendees coming away with an understanding of the law and how to prepare for its implementation. “Every single provider and practitioner will be impacted by MACRA and you need to be involved and understand,” said Kathryn Lund, RN, MBA, from Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, GA. Data ownership was another major theme, with attendees learning how to recognize essential data management and reporting systems, as well as how to use reporting system data to improve practice or individual performance. Workshops ranged from using ACC’s NCDR data for quality reporting to how to use patient-reported outcomes measures and patient relationship codes. Quality improvement was also on the agenda, with tips on how to tackle unexplained variation in care, how to build effective care pathways and teams, and how to ensure patients are at the center of care. Additionally, ACC Accreditation Services staff and leaders were on hand to talk about ways accreditation can help improve quality outcomes and financial performance. Check out coverage of the meeting on Twitter via @ACCCardioEd and #CVSummit.
Published by American College of Cardiology. View All Articles.
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