Application of the Virtual and Augmented Realities based tools in medical distance education – evaluation study among medical students and academic teachers in Poland

November 17, 2022

Proniewska K, Pregowska A, Walecki P

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) based technologies gain more popularity and user trust in various applications fields. Their application especially in medical sciences is of huge importance. Immersive technologies give more possibilities in the transmission of curriculum content in remote learning, i.e. e-learning, in particular in COVID-19 pandemic ensuring the greatest participation in classes. Moreover, sharing the screens of the tutor contribute to better absorption of knowledge by students. This research aimed to examine the general pedagogical potential and value of immersive technologies in distance teaching, especially in medical distance training. We surveyed a group of 200 students and 40 academic teachers in the Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland, regarding the VR and AR use in the process of distance teaching. We have analyzed the relation between the AR application in the medical training taking into account user age and the professional position. It turned out that 70 % of students and 60 % of the academy lecturers think that VR/AR supported education has more advantages than a classical one. Surprisingly the main issue was connected with availability, only 5 % student has access to AR/VR technologies, while 17 % of academic teacher use it in work and 36 % of them have only the occasional access. The VR/AR technologies seem to be an efficient solution to support medical education, especially in distance teaching. They can improve students’ skills avoiding without putting patients at unnecessary risk. VR/AR-based lessons or course contents and scenarios give a unique opportunity to exchange experiences inside and outside the medical community.