UK Haptics - Touching Science
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What is 'Haptics'?

According to Encarta, haptics is defined as 'tactile sensation applied to computer applications' which bascially translates from our viewpoint into software that enables users to 'feel' their interaction with the computer program. If you've watched Star Trek, then you could think of it as a desktop holodeck.

Why is that useful?

Although force feedback is common in computer games, it can bring real benefits to training environments of all kinds. UK Haptics is looking primarily at medical and clinical training environments and the benefits of practising technique to establish confidence and competence in nursing students in particular. Imagine the benefits of a situation where you can practise a procedure in a number of life like scenarios, learning as you do so how to improve and perfect your technique in a safe environment which poses no risk to patients, but where you do obtain feedback and metrics on performance.

Because our training is virtual, there are no costly disposables to buy, so not only can you do more training but you can do it more cheaply, and our software gives you full feedback on performance, how's that for innovation in training?

What can Haptics do?

In UK Haptics training software, haptics technology enables you to touch a 3D virtual model, use tools to interact with the model, and even feel the model! This means that in Virtual Veins you can feel the ‘pop’ as the needle enters the vein.

Using haptics allows us to produce training software that realistically simulates the sensations you would encounter with a real patient, but in a totally safe environment. Interestingly an added bonus of working in the UK Haptics simulated training environment is the fact the reality creates a greater depth of empathy, so much so that we have students apologising to the software for hurting it, and so far its helped a number of students get over issues of feeling unable to insert a needle into a human. The last one is an interesting one, because where students train on a mannikin often the first time they feel they can't perform the procedure is when they are face to face with a patient who needs to be cannulated.

So the relevance of haptics to medical/clinical training?

Using haptics in programs such as Virtual Veins, allows:

  • a very realistic training environment
  • ability to offer more training
  • a variety of training scenarios
  • full feedback on performance
  • costs savings as more training opportunties but no disposables

If you'd like more information on how Virtual Veins could help your organisation improve training and reduce costs OR if your organisation or company would like to work with UK Haptics to develop some training then please Contact Us, we'd be delighted to talk to you.