Vuzix smart glasses power online healthcare education

  • April 4, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

The UK’s Global Health Education Group (GHEG) has developed an online learning tool using Vuzix smart glasses to increase the accessibility, scale and quality of clinical training opportunities available to healthcare students.

Clinical training in hospitals and health practices is a necessary and key component of medical and healthcare education around the world. The current shortage of such placement opportunities can create bottlenecks, which in turn can hinder ongoing efforts to address the estimated shortfall of ten million healthcare workers worldwide.

A platform, developed by GHEG in collaboration with the University of Leeds, will let larger groups of healthcare and medical students participate in clinical placements simultaneously, regardless of the distance between the patient and clinician in one location and multiple students in others.

Students can see the patient through Vuzix smart glasses worn by the clinician, as well as hear the patient’s heart and chest sounds through the e-stethoscope and ear through an e-otoscope, as if they were carrying out the examination themselves. They can also interact with the patient and ask questions.

This should expand clinical training and placement opportunities in hard-to-reach locations and settings. It was co-designed with general practitioners, clinical academics and researchers from the University of Leeds’ School of Medicine. It has already been tested with the assistance of medical students and phase two will be a feasibility study that is trialled with patients. The goal is to expand its use within the UK and partner universities globally.

“We believe that the effective use of augmented reality and remote access, such as provided by Vuzix smart glasses, alongside in-person learning and clinical practice, will be crucial in enabling millions more healthcare workers to be trained affordably and to a high standard, in turn providing millions more people with better access to healthcare and able to live longer, healthier lives,” said Gideon Shimshon, CEO of GHEG.

Paul Travers, CEO of Vuzix, added: “We are thrilled to be part of such an important and sorely needed solution that can significantly help address the large shortage of qualified medical practitioners. The use of AR smart glasses within healthcare continues to expand around the world. Vuzix smart glasses are ideal for a broad range of applications that span education, surgeries and OR management among other things.”

GHEG, a mission-led enterprise backed by university partners, is developing a hybrid medical school. Its team includes medical experts and academics from institutions, founders of tech start-ups, and specialists in optimising online and offline learning.

Vuzix supplies smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high-quality viewing experience. Vuzix holds more than 275 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licences. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company with offices in New York, the UK and Tokyo.