Virtalis has designed and installed a 270o ActiveCurve, based on six LED single chip projectors to help in the teaching of Emergency Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen. This non-stereo ActiveCurve fosters an enormous sense of immersion as it displays images at a real-life 1:1 scale and wraps round the users.
Andreas Fidrich, the tutor in charge of simulation within Emergency Medicine at the University, explained: “Our new system hosts three hour, realistic role play sessions, each set in wildly differing locations, such as a forest, an airport, a sitting room and a nightclub. Six Go Pro cameras captured the scenes, the output of which are displayed across the vast curved screen by six Eyevis projectors. The role play session consists of pre-hospital Emergency Medicine scenarios with three student and three tutor participants. These sessions involve pressurised situations where we look for vital signs and monitor change. Although we use mannequins, these simulations have an air of authenticity owing to the fabulous, ever-changing backdrops, which you think at the time you only notice subliminally.”
The SkillsLab has existed for ten years, and now consists of a team of more than thirty members of medical stuff and student tutors.
The department is one of a dozen at the University, which has 39,000 students and is among the 10 largest German universities.
The total immersion in the artificial environment created by the non-stereo ActiveCurve is made even more compelling by the sound effects which not only add to the environment being recreated, but provide a distraction too.
Virtalis chose the projector auto-alignment technology from the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS to cope with the blending and warping required by the curved screen.
Mr. Fidrich said: “We find that people learn from their mistakes. Skills such as CPR and ECG diagnosis, auscultation (listening to the lungs), echo cardiography, and obstetrics and gynaecology examinations are never learnt well in abstract. The feedback we provide after these sessions helps our students to manage in real crises. We have found that this system provides our most effective form of communication.”
The ActiveCurve was first used to train the tutors and both they and the students gave it very good feedback. Over 100 students use the ActiveCurve in each four month period. Housed in its own dedicated building, boasting a feature cylindrical wall, only one other university in Germany has a comparable facility.
“We enjoyed creating the storyboards and videos ourselves. In the future, we would like to extend its use to different disciplines, including nurses and paramedics.” (Andreas Fidrich)