Introducing Virtual Reality in Practice

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Chiropractic Economics – Issue #13 “Top Tech”

Throughout its notable history, Parker University has stayed on the cutting-edge of technological advancements that specifically enhance student education and prepare students to operate at nothing less than their highest level upon completing their degree program and starting their healthcare career.

Parker University, the fourth-fastest growing college in Texas and the fastest-growing college in Dallas, was founded in 1982 by Dr. James William Parker. Today, Parker University has more than 1,800 students and 34 academic programs, including its famed chiropractic program, as well as master’s degrees in clinical neuroscience, strength and human performance, functional nutrition, and healthcare management. Currently, Parker University’s chiropractic cohort is the second largest of any campus in the world!

Parker University has expanded its leadership in educational technology among chiropractic programs with new partnerships with companies such as SimX and Touch of Life Technologies (Toltech). The university has even been recognized and awarded for its role in implementing advanced educational technologies.

Parker University Partners with SimX to use VR Technology

With the university’s SimX partnership, the initiative is to deliver clinical case simulations using VR technology. SimX’s industry-leading VR medical simulation platform is used worldwide by top institutions like the Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Air Force, and others. It allows students to work together in multiplayer VR cases either together in the same space or from the safety of their own homes. SimX’s solutions work to enhance both in-classroom and online learning, making it possible to conduct sophisticated instruction that provides realistic learning experiences for students.

Parker University is the first chiropractic school to partner with SimX to develop customized clinical cases using VR technology. The custom simulations created will help develop and reinforce soft skills such as empathy and communication with the patient and to help familiarize the student with physical landmarks and tools for patient examination. Some critics in the industry are concerned that Parker University students will no longer learn how to adjust real patients, and nothing is further from the truth. Clinical simulation is not intended to replace hands-on labs. It is a tool to support and enrich classroom learning and be a bridge to real patient interactions.

Parker’s VR simulations run on top-of-the-line, all-in-one wireless headsets that cost drastically less than older wired models. Instructors, students, and simulation moderators will be able to work simultaneously in the same virtual environments with each other, using SimX’s patented technology, whether they are a few feet away in the same classroom or across the country.

“We are pleased to be adding so quickly to our recently announced suite of advanced educational technology solutions for our students,” says Parker University President Dr. William E. Morgan. “We are committed to maintaining our educational technology leadership for both online and in-classroom instruction. The significant investments we have made in this area have already paid off in greatly enhancing instruction, which has been challenging for most universities during the pandemic. The fact that our students have been able to continue their instruction without interruption during this period and that we are experiencing record enrollment speaks to the great hunger students have for best-in-class education that exploits the most advanced technology solutions.”

Parker University Announces Partnership with Toltech to Enhance Anatomy Comprehension and Interpretation

Earlier in 2021, Parker University also proudly announced its continued partnership with Toltech, an initiative that continues to establish the university as a recognized leader in educational technology. Toltech is a medical education company that develops and sells interactive software to help provide a virtual learning environment combining state-of-the-art interactive technology with real anatomy from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project®, as well as higher resolution images. Toltech collaborates with professional medical societies, educators, and practicing professionals to create and test next-generation tools to educate and train a wide range of healthcare professionals and students.

This Toltech partnership aims to enhance anatomy comprehension and interpretation through an immersive virtual learning environment that increases student engagement and improves learning outcomes.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Parker University to bring the next frontier in anatomy education to their students today. As one of the first institutions to put virtual reality with real human anatomy directly into students’ hands, alongside traditional gross anatomy resources, Parker University is creating a blueprint for the future of healthcare education,” says Greg Spitzer, COO of Toltech.

Parker University chose to work with Toltech based on the suitability features of their technology for anatomy and gross anatomy courses. For example, the real virtual anatomy dissection software (VH Dissector) includes more than 2,000 anatomical structures with correlated 3D and cross-sectional views.

With the help of the right partners, Parker University is moving fast to incorporate advanced technologies like VR, AR, and simulation into its prestigious programs. To ensure Parker University students are the best anatomists they can be, students are given three ways to learn anatomy – the traditional gross anatomy lab, the VH Dissector on their devices, and now, in VR.

High-resolution immersive headsets, together with Toltech’s VH Dissector, offer an unrivaled educational environment with proven comprehension of spatial relationships and intuitive interactions. In addition, this type of solution allows for the integration of real anatomy at a relatively low cost and provides constant availability.

Parker University Professor and Academic Chair in the Department of Basic Sciences Dr. Georgina Pearson says, “Until you have experienced using VH Dissector in virtual reality mode, you cannot begin to imagine the tremendous benefits this state-of-the-art technology can bring to anatomy education. The interface is the most realistic experience you can have studying anatomy, short of performing actual cadaver dissections. You can easily manipulate, rotate, zoom in, dissect, expose, and study the human anatomy. The experience is almost as if you had a holographic cadaver standing before you, ready for you to explore and study any time you need, even from home. This will be a powerful supplement to the actual cadaver dissections we perform in our program.”

Recognized for Innovative Excellence

Parker University is proud to be listed among the winners of the 2021 FutureEdge 50 Awards. FutureEdge 50 Award winners will be celebrated at the CIO’s Future of Work Summit online event on September 21-23, 2021. This semiannual event focuses on organizations adapting to the changing business landscape with advances in automation, cloud-native applications, and digital innovations. Innovations in this year’s class include technologies advancing organizations across various industries.

It is wonderful to be recognized for the innovative technologies the university uses to enhance the student experience. Parker University is creating the first-ever AR/VR simulations and making many other impressive technological advances for use with chiropractic education and health science programs. Parker University is poised to do nothing less than change the nature, quality, and availability of chiropractic education.

“Creating truly immersive and interactive educational experiences, both in the classroom and online, can energize and empower students, engaging them both intellectually and experientially. This is how cutting-edge technology can not only help students advance their knowledge but also develop and sharpen their professional skills,” says Senior Director of Academic Informatics and Compliance Lisa Gabriel. “I’m thrilled that Parker University has made such an absolute commitment to realizing this vision.”

Parker University continues to implement the latest and greatest educational technology to best prepare students for ultimate career success. As Parker University’s technological partnerships continue to expand, nothing will stop the organization’s growth and leadership in providing new, state-of-the-art classroom technology. The future is now, and Parker University is excited to explore new ways to effectively learn alongside its students.