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Healthcare Track

Doctors, researchers, scientists, and patients alike are rapidly adopting XR applications to evolve healthcare as we know it. XR is revolutionizing treatment and therapy, improving quality while cutting costs, and reducing risk during procedures. Attend sessions in XRDC's Healthcare Track to hear from developers, meet innovative healthcare practitioners, and identify business opportunities and partnerships in this rapidly-growing sector.

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Session Highlights

MRI Simulator: Using Biofeedback Loops to Reduce Anxiety in Children
Shachar Weis (Co-founder and CTO, Packet39 Inc.)

Undergoing an MRI is a frightening experience for children. The process demands that the patient remains still, in spite of the loud noise and confined space. Many patients require sedation, which carries its own inherent risks and high cost. The Packet39 team developed a VR MRI simulator for kids, to reduce anxiety and the need for sedation. It combines elements from game design, immersive technologies and biofeedback to help patients train before the scan, and remain calm and still during, improving image quality and shortening the scan duration.

In this session, panelists will discuss VR for healthcare in general and pediatrics specifically, and discuss the hurdles, successes, and failures the Packet39 team faced while bringing their VR MRI Simulator to market.

XR Adoption in Senior Care Training: Lessons for Success from Design to Deployment
Carrie Shaw (CEO, Embodied Labs)

For three years Embodied Labs has been designing and deploying immersive training for the senior care industry, a rapidly growing subset of the healthcare sector. With a client and partner list of 60 companies and growing, Embodied Labs has learned countless valuable lessons about designing and deploying VR that allows healthcare staff members to embody and experience the visual, hearing and cognitive impairments that residents of aging care facilities face. In this talk, Embodied Labs co-founder Carrie Shaw shares deep industry expertise and the top ten lessons the company has learned about creating VR healthcare training that works, finding a sweet spot for pricing, designing UI and UX for non-gamers, setting clients up for success as they implement an immersive platform and much more.

Bringing VR into the Classroom: Beyond the Research
Kimberly Hieftje (Director, play4REAL Lab at Yale Center for Health & Learning Games)

The play4REAL Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games was recently awarded a gift from Oculus/Facebook Education to fully develop Invite Only VR, a virtual reality videogame intervention focused on JUUL/e-cigarette prevention in teens, and to evaluate the intervention with middle school students in a randomized controlled trial beginning in the fall of 2019. In this session, the development and early study findings of the VR intervention is described. Next, a delve into the planning and implementation of the randomized controlled trial with three middle schools will be discussed, with a focus on the importance of creating trusting partnerships with schools that continue beyond the data collection and study. While schools are excited to introduce new technology to their students, they are also cautious that teachers may not feel confident with their ability to continue using the equipment after the study concludes. Discussions on how the play4REAL team worked with schools to create a partnership that will continue after the study ends with the goal of ensuring that teachers and students have the support and training needed to incorporate experiences such as 'Invite Only VR' in their classrooms.

A VR Tool for Interactive Pharmaceutical Design at the Nanoscale
Mike O'Connor (Research Associate, University of Bristol)
David Glowacki (Royal Society Research Fellow, University of Bristol)

Designing new pharmaceutical drugs is an incredibly complicated task costing private companies and research institutions millions. To tackle the health challenges of tomorrow, healthcare industry needs new tools that enable researchers to rapidly design new candidates without the cost of physical experiments.

In this talk, Mike O'Connor and David Glowacki from University of Bristol present Narupa, a virtual reality drug design tool. The open source software combines high-performance computing with rigorous physics simulations to allow researchers to visualize and interact with the nanoscopic world, and enable them to intuitively reason about complex molecular structures and design new drugs at the nanoscale.

O'Connor and Glowacki present some of the unique challenges of working with virtual reality for pharmaceutical and nanoscale design, ranging from cloud computing and machine learning to the design of new data gloves, and the aesthetics and sonification of an invisible microscopic world.