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Virtual, augmented reality technology applied to health care at UNMC

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 08:07:28-04

VR and AR. You may have heard about how these are changing video games, but virtual and augmented reality technologies are spreading far beyond gaming and entertainment, to places like health care. 

From head mounted lenses, to giant video displays, UNMC is branching into augmented and virtual reality and "bringing learning to life." 

Dr. Pam Boyers heads up a small team of artists, animators and tech types, who are creating their own to content to go on AR and VR platforms. 

"It's very interesting to me," said Stephanie Purcell, who is applying to medical school. "One thing I hope to learn is really face-to-face learning and doing." 

Boyers says through virtual reality students can get a real experience of things like surgery or rare cases. 

"We can manipulate the objects, it might be organs, it might be practicing training in the operating room," she said. 

"Being about to change that on the fly, right in front of you, and 360 is very cool. Because you won't always see the patients with very rare conditions," Purcell added. 

Most of the AR and VR will eventually be housed in a new state of the art simulation lab on one floor of a facility being built now on the corner of 42nd amd Emile. Also set to go there is the world's first VR five-sided laser cave, allowing the future of medicine to take shape in a virtual world.