VR home training in lung ultrasound exam: Gamification vs. non gamification

Purpose and Design of the Study

Focused lung ultrasound (FLUS) examinations are used to diagnose the causes of acute shortness of breath. To diagnose patients correctly and initiate prompt and correct treatment, doctors must have the right skills. However, it can be difficult to practice FLUS, because testing on patients with acute respiratory problems can delay their actual diagnosis and treatment.

The aim of this randomized controlled study was to 1) learn whether doctors and medical students could use VR equipment to practice at home and learn how to perform FLUS, and 2) investigate the learning outcomes of implementing gamification in VR training.

The researchers recruited 48 doctors and medical students. 24 participants were randomly selected to practice at home with a gamified VR training scenario, and 24 participants practiced at home with a non-gamified VR training scenario. Afterwards, the participants were asked to perform FLUS on a physical simulator and their performance was evaluated by a blinded assessor.

Results and Findings

The participants had the VR headset at home for an average of 4 days and spent 3–3.5 hours practicing FLUS at home.

The study showed that participants who received VR training in FLUS scored statistically comparable to participants who had received the training via traditional courses and who used lung ultrasound examinations in their daily clinical work with patients.

The study found no difference in test scores between participants who received VR training with gamification (15.5 points) and those without gamification (15.2 points). Thus, the use of game-based elements in VR training had no significant effect on the learning outcome.

The study showed that VR training could be used as an unsupervised course for untrained individuals who could even practice at home, outside the hospital.

Carried out in Collaboration Between