I’m on a mission to merge the world of medicine, global education and immersive technology, and here’s why…
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a surgeon? For many, working in medicine was a childhood dream. It was certainly one of mine, and now I’m a cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
I never thought though, that I’d be the ‘most watched surgeon in human history’, but hey, technology is full of surprises.
"Digital is on our side"
An enormous amount of people worldwide don’t have access to safe, affordable surgery. If the outlook is going to improve, we’re going to need a lot more medical professionals worldwide, and fast. Luckily though, digital is on our side.
I’m the co-creator of Medical Realities, the world’s first VR interactive surgical training module. Our company mission is to solve big problems in surgical training using immersive technology. We use virtual reality to train surgeons, saving money, and scaling surgical education to make it accessible to everyone.
Sounds pretty exciting right? That’s because it is, and you can even try the platform for free to gain an insight into the operating theatre for yourself.
In 2013, I got my hands on a shiny pair of Google Glass (much earlier than most), and used them to livestream the removal of a liver cancer from a surgeon's point of view to over 13,000 students from all over the world.
There have been many more livestreams since then; the great thing about them being that students can ask questions live, and everyone gets a good sight of what’s happening. Often in the traditional training operating theatre students end up craning their necks for hours, and bobbing around to try and get the best view.
A future full of potential
The VR module is only the start of the technology revolution for medical field though, there’s a lot more to come.
Imagine a world where surgical students can actually perform computer simulations of operations that look and sound very, very real. There might even be gloves that give students real-time feedback so it truly feels like they’re making incisions, or holding a surgical implement.
Training could become so much easier, and so much more accessible globally, all thanks to technology.
Meet me at Digifest
I’m happy to report that this year I’m a keynote speaker at Digifest, Jisc’s annual celebration of digital and technology being used to enhance and transform education – something that as you can tell, I’m enthusiastic about to say the least.
I’m looking forward to hearing from other people on the ground about the latest ways that technology is being used to overcome challenges around the education sector, and trying out the latest edtech too. See you there!