VR vs. Traditional face-to-face Education: Training in focused ultrasound​

Purpose and Design of the Study

The content and methods involved in training medical students in focused ultrasound examinations can vary greatly. VR training in focused ultrasound could potentially be performed without the presence of medical instructors or the use of expensive ultrasound equipment that is required for face-to-face education.

The aim of this randomized controlled study was to develop a self-directed training course in VR and to compare the learning outcomes of VR training with traditional face-to-face ultrasound training.

The researchers recruited 104 medical students from the University of Southern Denmark. 53 students were randomly selected to receive only face-to-face training, and 51 received only VR training. Afterwards, the students were asked to perform a basic ultrasound examination on a phantom and were evaluated and scored by a blinded assessor.

Results and Findings

The study showed that medical students who received VR training scored as well as the students who received traditional face-to-face training in focused ultrasound examinations (see image 2). Starting costs for the implementation of the courses proved to be 16 times higher for traditional training compared to VR training.

The study showed that the learning outcome from a VR course was not different from the learning outcome from a traditional face-to-face course in ultrasound examinations. The results indicate that a VR course can be an alternative and equal substitute for face-to-face lessons.

Carried out in Collaboration Between