VR vs. e-learning: Clinical ultrasound for medical students

Purpose and Design of the Study

Medical ultrasound has evolved greatly over the past few years. It is no longer a tool reserved for specialists, but is now also used by doctors in emergency rooms and by medical students. This growing interest makes it imperative for educators to find new ways to instruct their students. 

The aim of this randomized controlled pilot study was to compare the learning outcomes of basic ultrasound training via e-learning with that of virtual reality.

The researchers behind the project recruited 20 medical students from University of Southern Denmark. 9 students were randomly selected to receive only e-learning, and 11 students received only VR training. Afterwards, the students were asked to perform a basic ultrasound examination on a person and were evaluated with a test scores given by a blinded assessor.

Results and Findings

Medical students who received VR training scored on average 143 points in the test, while the group receiving e-learning only scored 126 points (see image 2). In the VR group, 91% of the students wanted more VR training in the future.

The study showed a modest but still statistically significant higher learning outcome by using VR as a training tool compared to e-learning.

Carried out in Collaboration Between