How is Microsoft HoloLens used in medical education?

 In CraneMorley

When you think about Microsoft HoloLens you think about the use in business. Which makes sense because that is what the HoloLens was designed for enterprise use. Naturally most media coverage and use case revolves around business use from industries like manufacturing, retail, and healthcare.

One industry that does not receive as much coverage and often forgotten about is education. Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen the use of HoloLens in education develop and increase dramatically. The statistics speak for themselves. When students use immersive technologies like the HoloLens, there is a 22% improvement in test scores among students and a 35% increase in student engagement and retention.

Most use cases in the medical field have been in higher education medical colleges and universities. Before the pandemic, the focus was on how to transform and improve the student learning experience. Instead of reading textbooks, the HoloLens brings human anatomy to life and gives students a x ray like visual to see where a small nerve is under the skin or how the heart moves in certain conditions.

During the pandemic, the focus shifted to how to continue teaching students with face-to-face restrictions. The response was the use of Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Guides. Instructors share their field of view with Remote Assist while hands free to demonstrate how to perform operations and procedures. This allowed students to be in the room when they cannot physically be there. The other solution was to create self-paced instruction sets using Guides that would teach students without the need for instructors.

As colleges and universities slowly reopen the focus has shifted back to how the HoloLens can enhance the learning experience. The time away during face-to-face restrictions highlighted how powerful of a self-paced training tool Guides is.

Instructors have realized that nothing beats having the students observe operations and procedures. They also realized they do not have control over what type of scenarios students will see during these observations. Educators and instructors are utilizing Guides that will let students get hands on and walk them through every scenario they may come across on the field.

Other areas we see the HoloLens in use is college labs. During the pandemic instructor led trainings continued with virtual trainings. However, labs were one of the areas that suffered. The medical department at Northeastern University saw the potential of the HoloLens and developed a pilot Guide. This Guide introduced pipette techniques and reduced training time from three hours to thirty minutes. The efficiency has Northeastern University exploring other areas to implement the HoloLens in their training.

While the focus of the HoloLens in education is primary in the medical field. The use of HoloLens in other fields of education is bright. We are in the early stages of discovering how to utilize this technology. As the technology continues to innovate and more people be aware of the power the HoloLens has on training. More ideas will turn into pilots and proof of concepts in other areas of education.

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