VR CLINICAL SIMULATION TRAINING SYSTEM

Provide the creative VR solution to clients to increase the medical training quality in rural areas and third countries. The deliverable is an interactive prototype (VR & PC) and a pitch video.

The client and our team have published a paper on Simulation & Gaming based on this project.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/10468781211008258

Time

Jan – Apr 2020

Team Project 

 

My role

UX Designer & Researcher



tools

Figma; Miro; Adobe Illustrator; Adobe

Photoshop; After Effects; Premiere

 

Responsibilities & Achievements

  • Research about the clinical simulation training process and medical students; provide the solution and determined features.
  • Create and iterate prototypes for each sprint; implement the scenario into the design. Organize usability testings and analyze the results for design evaluation.
  • Achievements: The team delivered an interactive prototype and the testing results. The prototype verifies that online simulation training using VR technology can achieve the same effect as simulation training in the training centre.

Project Goals

The client wants to make medical simulation training accessible to resource-limited areas through the creative integration of advanced digital technology and simulation. By making medical simulation more accessible, students located outside urban centers will be granted the ability to access this enhanced form of medical training.

 

Problem Identify

After the kick-off meeting with the client, we’ve done research about the clinical simulation training condition of medical students in rural areas. The research results showed clearly of the problem is that:

“The cost and distance barriers of traditional simulation centers makes access unfeasible for medical students in remote areas.”

Research Findings

In order to find the design opportunities, and also to gain more knowledge about the clinical simulation training. The team went to Vancouver General Hospital Simulation Centre to actually experience the simulation training.

The instructor showed us the whole process of simulation training in detail and emphasized the role of simulation training is to let medical students: 

  • to practice their skills in a risk-free environment

  •  to master their techniques in a life-like scenario

  • to improve their reliability to make the right decisions in real life

Ideation

Based on the research, I sorted out the flow chart of clinical simulation training, which was divided into three stages: pre-training, training, and reviewing. The team decided to focus on the design of pre-training and training stages.

We did the sprint to generate ideas. Since one of the problems is that there are no professional instructors in rural areas.  The most convenient way is to do the training remotely.

We determined to create a virtual interactive environment for students to train. Meanwhile, the instructor could use the system on computers to control the VR environment and communicate with students remotely.

Solutions

After we confirmed the idea with our client, we started to extend the idea to create the complete solution:

  • An online remote clinical simulation training system.
  • There are two terminals, VR application for students to take training, PC system for instructors to control and watch the VR training environment. 
 

Deliverables:

  • Functional prototype.
  • The client gave us one typical scenario for training. We would implement it into the prototype.

Target Users

Based on the research, we knew our product is targeted to two kinds of users: medical students in rural areas, and instructors from the simulation training centre. I created the two personas for those two kinds users. The persona shows the motivation, frustration and goals of our target users.

User Journey

This journey map shows how the students and instructors are going to use this training system. Besides, we have come up with many features at first. By creating the user journey, I would able to see clearly which features are necessary for the MVP prototype.

Features for MVP:

  • VR interactive environment
  • PC control panel
  • Live-stream of VR enviroment
  • Audio System

Design Process

During the production phase, the team has used the design sprint methodology to iterate the prototype quickly. Each week we will only focus on 1-2 features, this help us able to make sure the project is developed orderly, and we can always go back to change or fix our design.

The production can be divided into two parts: VR Environment Design and Interface Design.

Interface Design

I used Figma to design the wireframes first. Then the visual designer and I make the high-fidelity UI interface together.

There are two interfaces, one is the control panel on PC, another one is the onboarding journey in VR.

Control Panel (Low-fidelity & High-fidelity)

VR ONBOARDING INTERFACE (Low-fidelity & High-fidelity)

VR Environment Design

We used Maya and Unity for building the interactive 3D environment.

Features

Usability Testing

Our team conducted 5 user tests in 6 weeks. During the user tests, we observed and recorded user behaviors. Also, we did one-on-one interviews and surveys to get users’ feedback. After each user test, we met with clients to talk about our insights and confirmed the next Sprint’s goal, which helped us iterate our prototype efficiently.

Project Intro Video

Takeaways & Challenges

This project gives me the opportunity to design a VR product. This is the first time for me to do interface design in a VR environment. In order to do a good job, I learned about interface design guidelines in a VR environment. Besides, I also tried the design sprint methodology with the team together, which is a great experience.

There are some challenges as well. The biggest challenge is the client insisted to use Hololens instead of VR equipment. However, MR technology is not able to solve the problem in this project. In order to persuade the client, we have compared those two technologies and organized a meeting to discuss them with the client.  And the client accepted our ideas in the end. I think this is a valuable experience for me to learn about the importance of communication.