The development and evaluation of a medical imaging training immersive environment

Bridge, Pete, Gunn, Therese, Kastanis, Lazaros, Pack, Darren, Rowntree, Pamela, Starkey, Debbie, Mahoney, Gaynor, Berry, Clare, Braithwaite, Vicki, & Wilson-Stewart, Kelly (2014) The development and evaluation of a medical imaging training immersive environment. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 61(3), pp. 159-165.

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A novel realistic 3D virtual reality (VR) application has been developed to allow medical imaging students at Queensland University of Technology to practice radiographic techniques independently outside the usual radiography laboratory.


A flexible agile development methodology was used to create the software rapidly and effectively. A 3D gaming environment and realistic models were used to engender presence in the software while tutor-determined gold standards enabled students to compare their performance and learn in a problem-based learning pedagogy.


Students reported high levels of satisfaction and perceived value and the software enabled up to 40 concurrent users to prepare for clinical practice. Student feedback also indicated that they found 3D to be of limited value in the desktop version compared to the usual 2D approach. A randomised comparison between groups receiving software-based and traditional practice measured performance in a formative role play with real equipment. The results of this work indicated superior performance with the equipment for the VR trained students (P = 0.0366) and confirmed the value of VR for enhancing 3D equipment-based problem-solving skills.


Students practising projection techniques virtually performed better at role play assessments than students practising in a traditional radiography laboratory only. The application particularly helped with 3D equipment configuration, suggesting that teaching 3D problem solving is an ideal use of such medical equipment simulators. Ongoing development work aims to establish the role of VR software in preparing students for clinical practice with a range of medical imaging equipment.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 76213
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Evaluation, Medical imaging, Simulation, Virtual reality
DOI: 10.1002/jmrs.60
ISSN: 2051-3895
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OTHER MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (119900) > Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified (119999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2014 22:36
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014 06:46

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