University of Nebraska Opens $119M VR & AR Medical Training Center

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What an exciting time to be alive. A few years ago if you asked anyone about virtual reality they’d tell you it’s a toy or a fad.

Today’s news story proves that wrong and I’m sure it will not be the last one. Last month, we covered Kingston University’s VR/AR training center

Kingston University Opens VR & AR Training Center

UNMC is creating a 192,000 sq ft facility for physicians and nurse to train with the next generation of tools. It’s exciting to see investments like these because they show the importance of VR/AR.

The facility is funded through private donations, City of Omaha grants, and the State of Nebraska and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

UNMC’s facility will house the Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning. The program aims to assist healthcare professionals with clinical training exercises and develop surgical skills with virtual reality, augmented reality and holographic technologies.

“Studies have shown that with traditional lectures, there is about a 5 percent retention rate of knowledge, whereas if you have hands-on practice or immediate application, it increases the rate up to 90 percent. So, in that sense, we really need to be doing more active learning and more practicing.”

– UNMC student Cindy Chou, who is scheduled to graduate in May with an MD and PhD.

The center will lead the creation of immersive virtual and augmented reality content for clinical and surgical training modules:

  • iEXCEL Helix — an extended 280-degree curved screen creating a 2-D/3-D immersive environment; which will allow medical professionals at all stages of their careers to develop and practice their skills together
  • “3-D iSpace,” a five-sided virtual immersive reality environment, and a 130-seat holographic auditorium.
  • NCHS and Biopreparedness, a simulation and quarantine center focused on Ebola and other infectious diseases.

Other than the research and training benefits the center is also projected to create 325 jobs and $40 million in economic growth for the area.

“Learners do best by having experience, whether it’s learning how to play a sport, a musical instrument or, in my case, do cardiac surgery. The more experience, the more practice, the more hands-on opportunities we get, the better off we are to deliver high quality, safe, effective and patient-centered care. This center will achieve all of those goals and continue to bring Nebraska to the epicenter of the learning world.”

– UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, MD

Thankfully, there’s been a movement to move away from “traditional” schooling material to more immersive educational models. Hands-on experiential learning improves retainment of skills competencies proficiencies.

Traditional professor to student methods “see one, do one, teach one” training model for physicians will now be assisted by human patient simulators, surgical simulation, interactive visualization tools such as head-mounted displays, interactive “learning walls” and 3-D virtual immersive reality environments.


Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual Reality Industry. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on trends in the future.

You most likely have some other VR ideas that can change the world! Share them with us on social media!




📖 Bestselling Author of Screw Being Shy 🎧 Global Top 100 Humans 2.0 Podcast 📺 Amazon Prime’s The Social Movement 🎤 Speaker featured in Forbes

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Mark Metry

Mark Metry

📖 Bestselling Author of Screw Being Shy 🎧 Global Top 100 Humans 2.0 Podcast 📺 Amazon Prime’s The Social Movement 🎤 Speaker featured in Forbes

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