Don’t underestimate VR for Medical Education

Nisha Burton Virtual & Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is ALREADY dramatically changing how Medical Professionals are educated.

It doesn’t look like this trend will end anytime soon.

But let’s give you some proof to back up that claim.

As you know, the medical industry has always been at the forefront of high-tech solutions. Therefore, this industry is more welcoming to new technologies than other industries. 

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the newest technologies being widely adopted by the healthcare industry.


Issues VR solves when it comes to educating medical professionals:

  • Students can train from anywhere
  • Different learning styles are easily accommodated
  • Increased performance

Keep reading to discover how VR is doing this.

Perhaps along the way, you will get inspired about how these technologies could help your company!

Surgical Education in VR

Many industries are beginning to use VR for remote work and job training, the medical field is no exception.

Traditionally only a few students can peek over the surgeon’s shoulder during surgery.

With VR, numerous students can observe the surgeon at work.

In the past, aspiring surgeons needed to perform 10-20 surgeries to become proficient in a procedure. 

The complexity of procedures has exponentially increased. Therefore, the number of surgeries needed to become proficient is now 50-100. 

VR allows surgeons to stream their operations globally.

Therefore, medical students can be present in the operation room from virtually anywhere in the world. 

Case Western University even teaches its medical students human anatomy with the HoloLens (a Mixed Reality headset). 

Medical education in VR creates measurable results

The Harvard Business Review recently found that surgeons trained in VR had a 230% increase in overall performance!

One study at UCLA tested the difference between training in VR vs. traditionally.

  • During the study, 20 participants were randomly assigned to two groups of 10.
  • One group trained with the Osso VR software and the other group used conventional training. 
  • The evaluator who reviewed the participants did not know if they learned in VR or through conventional training methods. 

The results were astounding. Medical students trained in VR scored significantly higher. 

  • VR trainees scored 130% higher than the ones trained through conventional means. 
  • They also found that the VR group completed the steps with 38% more accuracy, and finished the procedure 20% faster. 

Osso VR for practicing surgeries

 Osso VR is used by a thousand surgeons monthly to practice surgeries in an immersive environment. 

More than 20 teaching hospitals eight of the top medical device companies use it.

Osso VR provides risk-free practice sessions as well as performance analytics. 

In the Covid-19 era, Osso VR has played a large role in bridging distances. Surgical students can learn without having to travel to training sessions or conferences. 

One of the best parts is that it can be used in group settings or in one-on-one environments. 

Osso VR stated that its main focus is to increase access to hands-on training, and more training equals better patient outcomes. 

Virtual Reality training for Army Medics

US Army Medics are also exploring medical education in VR.

Military contractor ECS received funding from the federal Small Business Innovation Research program to create a pilot VR training program for US Army Medics. 

This training program consists of:

  • Multi-player integration
  • STE integration
  • Instructor dashboard
  • And a training effectiveness evaluation 

The use of haptic feedback gloves will take the program to the next level.

Haptics enhance the simulation by enabling trainees to feel the sensation of holding virtual tools. 

For now, the project is still in its building phase.

If it is effective, it could be rolled out for wider use and integrated into the Army’s Tactical Casualty Combat Care procedures. 

Orthopedic Surgical Training with ‘Fundamental VR’

Fundamental VR is a company that specializes in VR medical education. They recently finished a $5.6 million funding round to develop their training program.

Various medical institutions have adopted this technology including:

  • UCLA and Mayo Clinic in the US
  • UCLH in the UK
  • Sana in Germany 

Surgeries that this product currently supports are:

  • Spinal Pedicle Screw
  • Posterior Total Hip Arthroplasty
  • Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty
  • Total Knee Arthroplasty

This is just the beginning of surgical training using VR/AR

As you can begin to see, medical VR education has endless applications.


Even though the field is relatively new, we can already see so many examples of VR’s impact on surgeons’ work and education. 

If you want to read more case studies check this article out

Do you want your company to become an industry leader in these technologies?

At Reflective Brands, we want to help!

We offer complimentary consultations and work with your team in any development stage – from brainstorming through development and launch.

Reach out to find out more!