Friday, 09 June 2017 11:35

Cognizant partners with University of Newcastle on Virtual Reality project

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Cognizant partners with University of Newcastle on Virtual Reality project Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Global IT and business process services provider Cognizant has partnered with the University of Newcastle (UON) to develop a virtual reality (VR) solution to transform the way students learn key anatomy and birthing techniques.

The solution simulates a real-world delivery room, providing midwifery students with a virtual emergency neonatal resuscitation scene.

The collaboration between UON’s School of Nursing & Midwifery and IT services innovation team, is the first of UON’s VR projects, which the university says makes it easier for new graduates to transition from performing a neonatal resuscitation in an educational setting to a real-world emergency room.

By utilising the Samsung GearVR and HTC Vive (VR) and Oculus Rift headsets, the students can experience and imbibe vital and advanced neonatal resuscitation skills in a simulated environment.

Cognizant’s VR solution allows the students to undertake a series of steps to pass the time-critical scenario, either with a virtual "helper" in a practice mode, or individually in a formal test.

As the simulation is easily accessible and portable, the students can study anywhere at any time.

The simulation is run via an app developed for PC, iOS and Android, and the technology is designed to maximise students’ learning experience by allowing them to train outside the classroom at their own pace.

Anthony Molinia, UON’s chief information officer, said, “We are delighted with the outcome and co-innovation collaboration with Cognizant on this initiative. We were buoyed by the realisation of the practical benefits of this solution, and enlightened by some of the unexpected impacts of the exercise.

“IT Services is motivated to explore further opportunities that immersive and interactive technology can deliver to the pedagogical experience for students at the University of Newcastle."

Dr John Burgin, head of Digital Business for Asia Pacific at Cognizant, said the VR solution combines the company’s “extensive experience of working with leading colleges and universities globally, and our digital solutions capabilities that integrate human behaviour insights, digital strategy, design services, analytics, and interactive content, to deliver an immersive student experience”.

“By simulating a life-like compromised neonatal situation that requires students to execute critical procedures to stabilise and control an infant’s skin temperature, the solution will improve learning outcomes, as is already evident in the enhanced recall among students.

“Analytics capabilities built into the solution will provide the faculty with a better view of student readiness for highly critical procedures.”

In addition to the neonatal resuscitation simulation, Cognizant has also partnered with UON to develop a new AR resource to assist with education in anatomy and physiology, which requires extensive detailed knowledge of the human body, its make-up and functions.

Utilising a HoloLens headset, which projects a hologram into the users’ actual surroundings, the team has developed a gender-changeable human form with interactive "layers", which expose the different working functions of the body.

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