Enhanced medical training and care


Queen Mary University London, Barts Health NHS & Trust Enteric NIHR HTC





The Challenge

In order to educate, train, and continually develop highly skilled medical practitioners such as surgeons and anaesthetists there is a need for medical students to have access to procedures in conditions which mirror real life as closely as possible. Likewise, patients undergoing medical procedures benefit greatly from being able to visualize and understand their condition, operation or therapy treatment. In both cases however this can be unfeasible or challenging due to the practical and resource limitations in observing and interacting with medical situations or patient bodies in a real life setting.

Augmented & Virtual Reality's capacity to create immersive and interactive reproductions of objects, environments and processes however presents a significant opportunity for solving these problems and advancing healthcare and surgery. For example the immersive visualization of organs, pathologies or procedures could contribute greatly while the added ability to move around, zoom-in on and manipulate virtual objects and environments adds an entirely new dynamic to how users can interact with the body. In addition the use of augmented information overlays may help both students and patients understand treatments and methods in different areas of the body and with different surgical instruments.

This challenge therefore is to create an AR/VR solution which could be used in pre or post graduate medical education, training or patient pathways.

Solutions could focus on the training of medical students with surgical simulation, the training of staff in specific hospital environments such as the operating theatre, increasing knowledge and understanding of the human body, processes or effects; or the improvement of treatment visualization for patient pathways. Additionally, applicants could draw on the power of digital technology and other design and User Interface trends to enrich the user experience and make it even more informative and engaging.

A successful solution should:

·      Allow users to interact with the objects or procedures in an immersive environment;

·      Accurately visualize or re-create the objects and procedures for effective learning and understanding;  

·      Be an innovative development of new technology rather than a re-hash of the existing wave of technology;          

·      Be a technological solution that could be scaled to an industry-wide level.

Applicants need not limit themselves to:

·      A particular device; applicant       can develop a solution for the device which best answers the challenge

The winning applicant will trial their technology in partnership with Enteric NIHR HTC and QMUL at the Royal London Hospital (part of Barts Health NHS Trust) who will provide expertise and access to live clinical environments, medical students or patient volunteers.

Awards: 6 x £35,000

Contest Brief

Guidance for Applicants

Deadline: Noon, Tuesday 18th  August