Introducing HoloPatient

We’re pleased to share a preview of HoloPatient, Pearson’s latest mixed reality experience developed by the Pearson Immersive team.

This product debuted at SXSWedu back in March. Holopatient helps to solve real problems in healthcare education by providing standardised patient experiences for medical education, nurse education, and paramedic education, amongst others disciplines. At the nursing schools at Texas Tech University (TTU) and San Diego State University School, (SDSU) simulations are carried out using ‘standardized patients’ played by actors in order to train nurses in dealing with various clinical scenarios. However, these mock patients can only be in one place at a time, presenting challenges when it comes to giving greater numbers of students access to a sufficient variety of high-quality simulations. They’re also costly and often only available to the most well-equipped institutions.

We believed we could help by creating virtual standardized patients that could be downloaded and placed in any environment via HoloLens. But how could we do it? Microsoft’s own holographic capture (HCAP) provided the answer. After using this bleeding-edge technology to film real people and objects, we transformed them into holographic content. An HCAP player was then built by the Microsoft team so that the fully 3D, holographic footage could be viewed via HoloLens. The next step was putting our virtual standardized patients – HoloPatient – in front of students and faculty in a series of workshops and focus groups to see how they could be used as teaching and learning tools.

The results of the pilot programmes so far have been overwhelmingly positive. The nursing schools have seen the potential for learner outcomes to be improved by using this new technology, so they’re putting the app into their curriculums. TTU is starting this on a trial basis immediately, and will be helping us build the market version of the app based on its results.
Response to the workshops and focus groups from both nursing faculty and learners was hugely enthusiastic.

“This is really awesome – fascinating and intriguing,” was among the students’ verdicts, while one tutor commented: “This technology would enable me to standardize the learner experience and make sure everyone gets the same attention.”

HoloPatient is made possible through Pearson’s partnership with Microsoft HoloLens and through our academic partners at Texas Tech University Simulation Program and San Diego State University School of Nursing where the product is currently undergoing testing and evaluation.