Transfusion lab virtual reality walkthrough
Due to the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in-person laboratory medicine clerkships were converted to distance learning. The remote clerkship format provided advantages of allowing participation of students from more locations and greater scheduling flexibility but provided new challenges of maintaining learner engagement and providing experiential content of the laboratory environment. Gamification of educational content is one educational modality that has shown effectiveness in a multitude of different contexts to increase learner engagement and retention. Therefore, we created an interactive, educational 360° virtual reality walkthrough tour using off-the-shelf commercially available 360° cameras and software of the Transfusion service and Microbiology Laboratories. The process consists of taking multiple 360° still-images within the space, color-correction, blurring the faces of staff or sensitive information, adding navigation buttons, and other interactive elements. The virtual tours were used for both recruitment and education with further plans to integrate the learning modality into the curriculum. The clerkship is likely to remain as partially or fully as remote learning so such walkthrough tours will continue to remain relevant. This technology can be applied globally to other departments and institutions for education or recruitment.
Tsang HC, Truong J, Morse RJ, Hasan RA, Lieberman JA. The transfusion service laboratory in virtual reality. Transfusion. 2022 Jan 13. doi: 10.1111/trf.16799. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35025104.