University of Findlay sonography program adds augmented reality

The MediView augmented reality technology displays live sonogram imagery, along with video streaming and video calls for medical professional collaboration.

FINDLAY, Ohio — We’ve seen virtual reality and augmented reality used to improve entertainment.

But now, The University of Findlay is the first in the country to implement this growing technology in training the next generation of health professionals.

The University of Findlay has a new, state-of-the-art machine for its hands-on sonography program in the College of Health Professionals

The school is the first higher education institution to use the MediView augmented reality ultrasound imaging technology.

The program uses a headset that produces a heads-up display in a sonographer’s field of vision. This allows the technician to simultaneously look at their patient and their ultrasound readout.

“So now you’re going to have these goggles, and you can sort of place your machine anywhere in the room and move yourself, squeeze in around the other machines to be able to scan the patient while having your image right directly in front of your face,” said Jahannah Rea, a university staff sonographer.

And this technology has many functions for education as well, allowing technicians to video call an instructor while using the machine, or stream their own view onto other computers.

“It will allow two people to see the same thing at once. You can also put it up on the power point so the whole class can see the same lecture content that you’re presenting on,” said University of Findlay Diagnostic Services Chair Susan Watters.

Instructors said as this technology continues to develop, these first students learning to use it here at the University of Findlay will have an advantage as they enter the work force.

“It’s one less thing that they have to train them for. So, now the students might be able to help train some of the sonographers who are currently working, because they’ve seen it and they’ve done it and practiced on it already ,” said Sarah Niese, instructor and clinical coordinator

“But by the end of their careers I would imagine virtual reality will become part of that, so to learn it here and then be able to transfer those skills when it hits the market is going to be great,” Watters said.

Students will begin working with this new augmented reality technology in classes this summer. And the University of Findlay hopes to add a second unit some point in the future.

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