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If you were to walk into a classroom of medical students, you would expect to see them borrowed into their notebooks. Well nowadays, you might see them wearing a VR headset! While wearing mixed-reality headsets, future doctors at a hospital in Cambridge, United Kingdom, are already becoming the first students to train with holographic patients. Using this technology, the students can treat virtual patients using tools that mimic medical situations. This new training method completely trumps conventional resources for learning, such as textbooks, mannequins, and computer software!

The tech company GigXp, together with researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, has developed a pioneering technology named HoloScenarios. When training with HoloScenarios, medical students encounter a virtual patient with symptoms – such as being asthmatic – and must make real-time decisions about their care. 

National Health Service director, Professor Stephen Powis, explains that the new technology would help train the next generation of doctors by allowing them to practice medicine in real-time. 

“The NHS has always been at the forefront of medical innovation, and this unique development by teams in Cambridge – to use life-like holographic patients in medical training – could enhance the learning experience of our next generation of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers, by creating new environments to practice medicine in real-time, while improving access to training worldwide,” says Professor Powis, in a media release.

This new technology relies on mixed reality, what is that? Mixed reality (MR) is a user environment in which physical reality and digital content are combined in a form that enables interaction with and among real-world and virtual objects. This allows the students to interact with the holograms as though they were real patients, coming for a consultation. 

This mixed-reality technology is now available for license to medical institutions across the world, with developers saying it offers a cost-effective and flexible training resource, according to