March 15, 2024By Teresa Gore

Recap: International Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium 2024

The International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association (IVRHA) in partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center and Ringling College of Art + Design for the 8th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium. This interdisciplinary event occurred February 29 – March 3, 2024, in Sarasota and Tampa, Florida. This article by Content Manager Dr. Teresa Gore, reviewed the key take aways from the 2024 IVRHA conference.

The goal of the IVRHA Conference is fostering partnership and collaboration in healthcare. The 8th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium was different from other conferences. There are several factors that creates a special conference environment. There is a strong focus on providing unique content and perspectives from across the healthcare spectrum. Another strong focus is placed on providing new emerging voices from across the ecosystem: care, technology, research, and policy. This conference provides a forum to collaborate and partner with healthcare leaders to enable the creation of larger data sets.

In partnership with the exhibitor, there are appointments available for virtual reality experiences. One exhibitor, CareComm, provided attendees with the opportunity to use Apple Vision Pros for demonstration of their product. There are three important aspects attendees learn while attending the exhibitors area. The first is Gesture VR which is a figure drawing application that has a passthru mode. The second is Hand Physics Lab that is designed for hand gesture recognition. The last is the ability for some participants to have their first encounters in a mixed reality experience.

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8th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium

The 8th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium was Co-Chaired by Dr. Walter Greenleaf, Stanford University, Dr. Sarah Hoffe Moffitt Cancer Center, Martin Murphy, Ringling College of Art & Design, and Robert Fine, IVRHA. This year the conference occurred in two cities. The conference started at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, and ended at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. The conference highlights the partnership between the two organizations for innovations to improve patient outcomes.

Keynote and Fireside Speakers

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The symposium featured well-known experts in the field of technology and VR researchers. The Keynote Speaker was Ryan Douglas. Ryan is a renowned expert and innovator in mental health, artificial intelligence, and surgical robotics with nearly 20 years of experience. Ryan is the co-founder of DeepWell DTx, a video game publisher and developer focused on creating medically therapeutic games with compelling gameplay. He has commercialized over 20 medical devices, including treatments for depression, hypertension, breast cancer survivors, women’s health, chronic pain, and neurological conditions. Additionally, Ryan holds pivotal patents in medical AI and robotics and has achieved FDA clearance for breakthrough therapies.

The keynote presentation: The Power of Play in Treating Mental Health explored how therapeutic effects in video games are transforming lives and how to medicalize this to positively impact mental health issues.

The Fireside Chats Keynote sessions included:

  • George Papagiannakis, ORamaVR and University of Crete
  • Joe Morgan, Waya Health, President
  • Laura Kusumoto, Moderator, IterationZero
  • Walter Greenleaf,Stanford University, Medical VR / AR Expert – Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab
  • Susan Kirsh,U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks (DEAN)

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Brick Simple – Silver Sponsor: US-based team has defined, designed, and built everything from proof of concept software for startups to enterprise-grade solutions for complex business challenges.

Heal-ium – Bronze Sponsor: A mental fitness tool that offers you a new, active approach to meditation that is powered by your body’s electricity . Use real-time data to train your brain and heart so you can self-manage your anxiety, focus, and sleep.

VR in Healthcare Exhibitors Supported the Event:

  • HTC Vive: Designs Virtual Reality (VR) to enable healthcare organizations to provide the next generation of professionals with the tools they need to meet the demands of 21st-century healthcare education
  • Oxford Medical Simulation: A virtual reality platform that delivers quality, evidence-based and highly realistic simulation
  • Persistent Technology, Inc: Delivering transformative, human-centered solutions and improving patient care
  • GigXR: mixed reality platform and applications, which blend physical and digital elements to enable ultra-realistic and collaborative 3D learning environments built for hybrid and remote classes.
  • Virti: An immersive, enterprise learning solution for healthcare simulation and training. The platform allows for the creation and cross-platform distribution of interactive, immersive (virtual reality in simulation, augmented reality in simulation and mixed reality) educational content.
  • Community Care Connections Inc (C3): A practice management software (PMS) provides a simple to use, yet comprehensive tool that healthcare providers can utilize for running an efficient business, no matter how big or small their practice.
  • CleanBox: Cleanbox Technology UVC LED disinfection solutions decontaminate the surfaces of any device, including VR and AR headsets to healthcare-grade standards in just 1 minute cycle times
  • AMXRA: American Medical Extended Reality Association is the premier medical society advancing the science and practice of medical extended reality
  • VRWorkout: A virtual reality music workout pushing the boundaries of movement in VR
  • ArborXR: Remotely manage AR & VR devices, deploy content, and control what users can see and do in the headset
  • the world’s premier Healthcare Simulation resource website, providing the latest news, CE/CME webinars and courses, conference coverage, research highlights, helpful guides, job listings, product demos, vendor connection services, community sharing, and more
  • CrossComm: CrossComm builds custom software for innovative businesses looking to make an impact on their most important audiences. CrossComm offered Apple Vision demonstrations of their product development.
  • Mynd Immersive: This group enables older adults to interact with the outside world in genuinely innovative ways that promote engagement, wellness, and above all, positive outcomes
  • Penumbra: A global healthcare company that is focused on innovating novel technologies to help as many people as possible
  • Ringling College of Art + Design: Institution exclusively to teaching art and design. Many of our programs are ranked among the best in the nation, including Computer Animation, Motion Design, and Game Art
  • Moffitt Cancer Center: A Cancer Center Like No Other Research Care Outcomes
  • University of Central Florida: With more than 220 degree programs in 13 colleges, UCF provides an education for your future, today
  • CAE Healthcare: Provides solutions for simulation-based medical education (SBME) that improve healthcare, clinical competency, and patient safety
  • Economic Development Corporation Sarasota County
  • UbiSim by Labster: A multidisciplinary team of nursing educators, healthcare simulation experts, software engineers and 3D artists, working to combine nursing simulation and virtual reality for an immersive learning experience
  • Xennial: to create meaningful and results-driven extended Reality (XR) enterprise solutions for customers
  • Avatar Medical: VR solution so surgeons can better prepare their procedures by interacting with an ultra-fluid, photo-realistic VR representation of their patients’ medical images
  • Tipping Point Media: An industry leader in launching brands through experiential learning
  • Blend Media: Mission is to make immersive content
  • Looking Glass XR: Everything needed to successfully deploy XR for business

Early Stage Exhibitors

  • Lighthouse XR
  • Cogni XR Health
  • Vital Start HouseCall VR

Virtual Reality in Healthcare Simulation

‌Virtual Reality in Healthcare Simulation provides clinical learners the opportunity to experience simulated first-person representations of medical environments, patients, and tasks. Defined in the Healthcare Simulation Dictionary as a virtual representation of an actual patient, which can take many forms, such as software-based physiological simulators, simulated patients, physical manikins, and simulators. Note that here “Virtual Simulation” could represent 2D digital patients on tablets or desktop screens, but “Virtual Reality” specifically represents VR headset-based learning technologies which “fully immerse” the participant in a completely simulated world.

More About the IVRHA

On a mission to facilitate and support the growth of the virtual reality healthcare industry, the International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association (IVRHA) is comprised of members throughout the healthcare ecosystem. This includes professionals at technology companies, who teach at hospitals and universities, as well as healthcare providers and insurance companies. Together, these members support the progression of virtual reality in medicine in a way that promotes increased use across the field.

Learn More About Virtual Reality in Healthcare Simulation!

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