Traditionally, rural areas in many countries are limited by a lack of access to health care due to the inherent challenges associated with recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. Telemedicine, which uses communication technology to deliver medical services over distance, is an economical and potentially effective way to address this problem. In this research, we develop a new telepresence application using an Augmented Reality (AR) system. We explore the use of the Microsoft HoloLens to facilitate and enhance remote medical training. Intrinsic advantages of AR systems enable remote learners to perform complex medical procedures such as Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) without visual interference. This research uses the HoloLens to capture the first-person view of a simulated rural emergency room (ER) through mixed reality capture (MRC) and serves as a novel telemedicine platform with remote pointing capabilities. The mentor’s hand gestures are captured using a Leap Motion and virtually displayed in the AR space of the HoloLens. To explore the feasibility of the developed platform, twelve novice medical trainees were guided by a mentor through a simulated ultrasound exploration in a trauma scenario, as part of a pilot user study. The study explores the utility of the system from the trainees, mentor, and objective observers’ perspectives and compares the findings to that of a more traditional multi-camera telemedicine solution. The results obtained provide valuable insight and guidance for the development of an AR-supported telemedicine platform.
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