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Article

Investigating the Feasibility of Virtual Reality (VR) for Teaching Cardiac Morphology

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Soon Ki Jung
Electronics 2021, 10(16), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10161889
Received: 11 June 2021 / Revised: 28 July 2021 / Accepted: 4 August 2021 / Published: 6 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Twin Technology: New Frontiers for Personalized Healthcare)
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common defect at birth. Effective training for clinical professionals is essential in order to provide a high standard of care for patients. Visual aids for teaching complex CHD have remained mostly unchanged in recent years, with traditional methods such as diagrams and specimens still essential for delivering educational content. Diagrams and other 2D visualisations for teaching are in most cases artistic illustrations with no direct relation to true, 3D medical data. Specimens are rare, difficult for students to access and are limited to specific institutions. Digital, patient-specific models could potentially address these problems within educational programmes. Virtual Reality (VR) can facilitate the access to digital models and enhance the educational experience. In this study, we recorded and analysed the sentiment of clinical professionals towards VR when learning about CHD. A VR application (VheaRts) containing a set of patient-specific models was developed in-house. The application was incorporated into a specialised cardiac morphology course to assess the feasibility of integrating such a tool, and to measure levels of acceptance. Attendees were clinical professionals from a diverse range of specialities. VR allowed users to interact with six different patient-derived models immersed within a 3D space. Feedback was recorded for 58 participants. The general response towards the use of VR was overwhelmingly positive, with 88% of attendees rating 4 or 5 for ‘helpfulness of VR in learning CHD’ (5-points Likert scale). Additionally, 70% of participants with no prior VR experience rated 4 or 5 for ‘intuitiveness and ease of use’. Our study indicates that VR has a high level of acceptance amongst clinical trainees when used as an effective aid for learning congenital heart disease. Additionally, we noted three specific use-cases where VR offered novel teaching experiences not possible with conventional methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; congenital heart disease; cardiac morphology; 3D modelling; education; teaching virtual reality; congenital heart disease; cardiac morphology; 3D modelling; education; teaching
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pajaziti, E.; Schievano, S.; Sauvage, E.; Cook, A.; Capelli, C. Investigating the Feasibility of Virtual Reality (VR) for Teaching Cardiac Morphology. Electronics 2021, 10, 1889. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10161889

AMA Style

Pajaziti E, Schievano S, Sauvage E, Cook A, Capelli C. Investigating the Feasibility of Virtual Reality (VR) for Teaching Cardiac Morphology. Electronics. 2021; 10(16):1889. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10161889

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pajaziti, Endrit, Silvia Schievano, Emilie Sauvage, Andrew Cook, and Claudio Capelli. 2021. "Investigating the Feasibility of Virtual Reality (VR) for Teaching Cardiac Morphology" Electronics 10, no. 16: 1889. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10161889

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