Weill Cornell is a teaching hospital with high staff utilization. Training the staff is important, but asking providers to take an hour off from work to attend a training session isn’t realistic. Doing so would effectively shut down the provision of healthcare at the facility.
The training challenges in medicine are unique. Every patient has nuance, so broad one-sized-fits-all training approaches are not effective. There is also a higher level of complexity and risk involved.
Some training requirements only recur every two years, for example, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). The knowledge learned during certification wanes in the interim.
Weill Cornell Medicine first learned of Virti from VIVE Medical, a division of HTC Corporation. VIVE has partnered with Virti and academic institutions to deliver medical training using extended reality (XR) to some acclaim.
XR holds a lot of promise because staff can do it on their own time by simply putting on a headset. They can train on any skill required from a medical practitioner virtually.
Studies show knowledge retention in XR is higher.
Weill Cornell is exploring two key lines of training in XR. These can be broadly classified as hard skills and soft skills training.
The training team is experimenting with virtual avatars, powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI) to provide realistic soft skills training. The scenarios range from patient interaction to team dynamics during a code in an operating room. The avatars can look any way needed and speak in 18 different languages.
The effort to incorporate XR at Weill Cornell Medicine is still largely in the pilot phase, but so far, the difference the team has noticed is that it’s easy to use and highly customizable.
XR seems intimidating because people think there’s coding involved – but there isn’t. It’s easy for someone without a technical background to build customer experience and training.