ParaVR - Skills Maintenance for Paramedics

Virtual reality (VR) technology is emerging as a powerful tool in medical training and has potential benefits for paramedic education, particularly skill retention. We are collaborating with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) to develop ParaVR, an affordable immersive VR simulation of more uncommon procedures that a paraedic needs to perform. Currently we have developed a simulation of needle cricothyrotomy using the Oculus Rift. We are also exploring using a haptics device to control the needle so that the paramedic feels the right sensation.

Prototype of the needle cricothyrotomy simulator. The virtual patient is a the site of the accident following a road accident.
Figure 1: Prototype of the needle cricothyrotomy simulator. The virtual patient is a the site of the accident following a road accident. [PNG]

VR is an emerging educational tool with the potential to enhance paramedic skills development and maintenance. The ParaVR programme is the first step in the development, testing and scaling up of this technology.

Collaborators: Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust

  1. Rees, N., Vaughan, N., Day, T. W., Dorrington, K., Rees, L., & John, N. W. (2020). ParaVR: a virtual reality training simulator for paramedic skills maintenance. Journal of Paramedic Practice1759-1376 , 12(12), 430–438. [bib]