June 26, 2024By Devin Marble BS, NRP

Transform Nurse Training: See Your Sim Space in New Ways with HTC VIVE XR Elite

Nursing education is dramatically transforming, thanks to the latest advancements in virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) technologies. According to HTC’s 2023 Survey on Extended Reality Training in Healthcare, these innovations play a crucial role in modernizing healthcare training. The HTC VIVE XR Elite headset is at the forefront of this revolution, particularly with its cutting-edge passthrough mixed reality feature. This powerful tool, combined with VRpatients’ Spatial VR platform, is set to redefine how nursing simulations are conducted, offering high-fidelity training that bridges the gap between the virtual and physical worlds. This HealthySimulation.com article by Devin Marble, BS, NRP, VR Educator, will explore the collaboration of HTC VIVE and VRpatients to improve nursing education.

The Power of the HTC VIVE XR Elite

The HTC VIVE XR Elite is not just another VR headset. This VR headset is a versatile, high-performance device that delivers an immersive and realistic experience. Key features include:


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  • Resolution: UHD ultra-high definition means you will see skin conditions.
  • Inside-Out Tracking: No wires and no external trackers, complete freedom of movement.
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz means smooth motion and reduced nausea.
  • Field of View: 110 degrees, offering an extra-wide view of your simulation space in mixed reality.
  • Audio: Embedded speakers deliver realistic sounds during virtual sims.
  • Processor: The Snapdragon XR2 means crystal clear graphics.
  • Storage: 128 GB, storage space for numerous simulations or additional applications.
  • Connections: USB 3.2 makes transferring recorded simulations fast and charging quick and easy.
  • Casting: Easy casting for collaborative learning and feedback.
  • Sensors: Four external tracking cameras, crucial for the latest mixed reality simulation.
  • Ergonomics: Perfect weight balance that doesn’t mess up hair and accommodates users who wear glasses.
  • Battery: Hot-swappable 2-hour batteries for non-stop simulation.

These features make the XR Elite ideal for virtual- and mixed-reality applications, enhancing its utility in various educational and professional settings. Register for the upcoming HealthySimulation webinar below!


Register for the July 9, 2024, LEARN CE/CME Platform Webinar Virtual and Mixed Reality: Virtual and Mixed Reality: A NEW Innovative Way to Train in Medical Simulation to learn more!


Partnering to Make the Most of Your “Space”

Powerful technology like the HTC VIVE XR Elite has empowered VRpatients to take a significant step forward in nursing simulation by utilizing advanced technology to introduce Spatial VR, a mixed-reality experience. For more insights on integrating such advanced technologies into your training programs, refer to the Designing XR Training Solutions for Healthcare ebook. The VRpatients platform leverages the passthrough capabilities of the HTC VIVE XR Elite to blend physical and virtual training environments. The result is a highly realistic simulation experience that engages your space.


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Benefits of XR Elite Mixed Reality in Nursing Simulations

  1. Enhanced Realism: By integrating real-world elements with virtual simulations, Spatial VR creates a more lifelike training environment. Students can interact with physical objects, such as task trainers, while remaining fully immersed in the virtual scenario.
  2. More Useful Virtual Simulations: Traditional institutions and hospitals often face limitations like space and equipment. Spatial VR allows any room to become a simulation space, such as a small college with little sim space or an empty bed in a hospital such as the ICU, pediatric ward, or emergency room. Hospitals and educational institutions can maximize their existing infrastructure without needing dedicated empty rooms for VR simulation.
  3. Cost-Effective Solutions : Implementing the VIVE XR Elite headset for mixed reality simulations breathes new life into your existing simulation space and task trainers. Expenses already accounted for have never been blended with virtual simulation until today. This lowers costs and allows for more frequent and varied training sessions.

Real-World Applications and Success Stories

Educational institutions and healthcare facilities are already reaping the benefits of integrating new technology into their training programs. The flexibility and realism enhanced the learning experience, making HTC VIVE and VRpatients more engaging and effective for students.

Practical Insights from University of Cincinnati

As Dr. Lori Catalano from the University of Cincinnati points out, one of the key advantages of these virtual simulations is the safe learning environment they provide. “You are going to stumble. It’s okay to fall down; it’s a safe learning environment. Go back in and try again,” she says. This iterative process is critical for building clinical decision-making skills and muscle memory. Students often find themselves laughing at their mistakes and eager to retry the simulation, saying, “I want to do it again, to see if I’m more on it this time!” They feel safe making mistakes in a realistic environment that integrates with their simulation space.

Esmira Yusufova, a simulation nurse educator and chair of the virtual reality SIG at INACSL, praises the program for its realism and engagement. “This brings an incredible level of realism and engagement to the learning process. This technology enhances competency and boosts confidence in preparedness for real-world challenges.”

Addressing Real Challenges with Advanced Simulation Technology

One of the most pressing issues in healthcare today is the nursing shortage. By utilizing advanced simulation technology like the HTC VIVE XR Elite and Spatial VR, educational institutions can train more nurses more efficiently. This technology allows for:

  • Scalable Training Programs: Institutions can train multiple students simultaneously, even in remote or asynchronous settings with the standalone XR Elite. This scalability is crucial for meeting the increasing demand for qualified nursing professionals.
  • Enhanced Learning Outcomes: Studies have shown that VR training can improve knowledge retention and skill acquisition. By providing a safe, controlled environment where students can practice and make mistakes without risk, VR simulations help build confidence and competence.

Practical Use in Nursing Simulations

The HTC VIVE XR Elite’s passthrough cameras allow for practical applications that were previously challenging or impossible with traditional VR setups. For instance:

  • Interactive Physical Space: Learners can use the headset to interact with their physical surroundings while immersed in a virtual scenario. This means they can read notes, manipulate medical instruments, and perform procedures on task trainers without ever removing the headset.
  • Seamless Integration with Existing Equipment: Hospitals can integrate the XR Elite with their current simulation equipment, maximizing their investments and ensuring continuity in training methods.
  • Practical Need for Healthcare: Simply put, the HTC VIVE XR Elite is easy to wipe down because of the lack of absorbent fabric, and the controllers are robust and drop-resistant. This product is a fully hospital-compliant and learner-friendly device.

Overcoming Barriers to Adoption

While the benefits of XR in healthcare training are clear, some institutions are hesitant to adopt this technology due to perceived technical challenges. However, the HTC VIVE XR Elite is designed to be user-friendly and easy to implement. Features like hand-tracking and intuitive controls make accessibility easy, even for those with limited technical experience.

Key Considerations for Successful Implementation

  • Involve Stakeholders Early: Engage clinical educators, IT professionals, and administrators from the beginning to ensure the technology meets their needs and integrates smoothly into existing systems.
  • Focus on Data Security: The HTC VIVE XR Elite complies with stringent data security standards to protect sensitive information and maintain trust amongst healthcare and educational organizations.

Embrace the Future of Nursing Training



The integration of the HTC VIVE XR Elite headset with VRpatients’ Spatial VR platform represents a significant advancement in nursing simulation. This technology offers a powerful, flexible, cost-effective solution for training the next generation of nurses. By embracing these innovations, educational institutions and healthcare facilities can enhance their training programs, improve professional nurse competency, and ultimately address the nursing shortage.

More About HTC VIVE

HTC VIVE is the premier virtual reality (VR) platform and ecosystem that creates true-to-life VR experiences for businesses and consumers. The VIVE ecosystem is built around premium VR hardware, software, and content. The VIVE business encompasses best-in-class XR hardware, software, a Business Device Management System (DMS), a Location-Based Software Suite (LBSS), VIVE Business Streaming (VBS), and VIVE Business Training (VBT) for business customers.

HTC VIVE gives professionals an unparalleled, true-to-life virtual reality experience. Using a headset and wireless controllers, clinical learners can explore and interact with VR experiences, apps, and games that blur the line between imagination and reality. From AAA games to unforgettable experiences, there are over 2500 apps and games available for VIVE. Their VIVE XR Elite headset was the “Most awarded VR headset of CES and MWC 2023” and provides a powerful, convertible, and lightweight headset that conforms to the wearer. Users can enjoy the untethered freedom of all-in-one XR or harness the power of PC VR.

Learn More About HTC VIVE!


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