In the recent years, virtual reality (VR) is becoming a part in almost all spheres of our daily life. Beginning from the gaming industry, it made a mark in the education sphere too, especially in medical education. Over the last two decades, there has been a push to integrate simulation‐based training and education, in the healthcare industry to facilitate novice skill acquisition in a low‐risk environment, and potentially increase the capacity to train individuals at a time, where at the moment there is a critical shortage of health professionals worldwide.
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If you think about training in a virtual environment, endoscopy is the term that comes to our mind first. But endoscopy, as with other medical procedures, traditionally associated with novices practicing on real patients under the supervision of experienced tutors. Using simulation as a training strategy contributes a lot to patient safety and optimizes outcomes of care, providing beginners with opportunities to relive scenarios and intervene in clinical situations within a safe, guided setting without posing a risk to a patient. But could these training skills be used in real clinical practice? Recent systematic review in the Cochrane database evaluates the effectiveness of virtual reality simulation training in gastrointestinal endoscopy. With this purpose scientists revised 18 trials with 421 participants and 3817 endoscopy procedures.
They concluded that VR endoscopy training could be beneficial as additional training before a conventional endoscopy training (apprenticeship model) in diagnostic oesophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy for medical trainees with limited or without prior endoscopic experience. But researchers suggested that conventional training should not be removed from the system.
Future modernization of VR endoscopic simulations and overall VR technology is already making a positive effect in the future of medical education. We hope to see more in the upcoming years.