Immersive Healthcare Learning: 360 Videos Unleashed

Oct 27 2023

Immersive Healthcare Learning: 360° Videos Unleashed

Bhavesh Pisat: Sr. Design Manager
Bhavesh Pisat

Sr. Design Manager

Medical students often deal with high stress and anxiety levels when transitioning from the preclinical to the clinical phase of their curriculum. This stress is caused by the low level of preparedness and urgency in acquiring clinical skills without clinical exposure. The 360° videos use virtual reality to expose medical students to clinical situations and provide contextual and active user experiences. This will help them acquire the subject knowledge and behavioral skills they need to treat real patients.

The Need for 360° Videos in Medical Education

In the last 50 years, simulation in nursing education has become increasingly common. It helps students practice essential caregiving decisions in a safe environment, so they can apply those skills to real patients in the future. Gaining knowledge and experience through learning by doing and increasing opportunities to try different procedures virtually is a good training methodology for the healthcare sector.

Simulations using mannequins are very common in nursing and medical education. Simulation-based exercises with responsive and robotic mannequins provide a more realistic experience. However, conducting such simulations is not cost-effective. They need dedicated rooms and expensive resources, and only a limited number of students can be exposed to such simulations at a time.

Preparing medical students to deal with catastrophic situations elevates patient outcomes. However, there are not enough training opportunities to ensure this competence. The 360° videos conceptualize, design, and implement an immersive and interactive learning environment that will expose students to catastrophic situations more often. Different interactive elements can be included in the simulated learning scenes based on the learning objectives.

Computer-based simulations on web browsers enable instructors to collect more details about student performance, allow them to make mistakes in a safe environment, review their approach, figure out the mistakes, and promote deeper learning of abstract concepts. Combining 360-degree videos with AR and VR will create realistic environments for the students to practice their clinical skills. In a study conducted with a virtual reality headset, 59% of the students admitted that it was a good learning experience.

Benefits of 360° Videos in Nursing and Medical Training

Experiential learning prepares students for challenging clinical placement, especially in highly sophisticated settings such as trauma suites, intensive care units, and operating rooms. In clinical settings such as an OR, stringent practices are essential to maximize sterility but limit access in many ways. Training nurses and medical students may not have opportunities for orientation in such settings. The 360° video approach enables educators to simulate learning activities that were impossible earlier. A 360° camera captures the action from multiple directions, providing directional sound and video, allowing viewers to learn from multiple perspectives. Some of the benefits of using 360° videos in medical education are:

  • and authentic scenarios for the clinical environment
  • Increased engagement and motivation of learners
  • Multiple viewpoints allow learners to learn at their own pace
  • Improved skills and knowledge through observation and learning
  • Immediate feedback and guidance to reinforce practical skills
  • Ability to practice responses and interventions multiple times to understand the consequences
  • Reduced cost and time of creating and delivering learning content
  • Learning material that is accessible at any time, anywhere, using web browsers or VR devices

Challenges in Using 360° Videos

While using 360° videos undoubtedly provides unique learning opportunities and expanded exposure to clinical environments, certain challenges must be addressed. Creating an immersive and engaging learning environment through videos and simulations has the following complications:

  • issues such as low-quality videos and buffering
  • Nausea or dizziness with prolonged VR use
  • Higher bandwidth and storage capacity required for high-definition videos
  • Lack of interactivity and feedback with passive and linear videos
  • Ethical and legal concerns related to privacy, confidentiality, and consent of patients and professionals in the videos

Enhance Immersion with Interactivities

The 360° videos, in general, are not interactive as they allow viewers to learn from the decisions and skills of other professionals. However, to make the educational experience interactive, you can add several elements to the videos. These interactivities keep the students engaged throughout the learning process and reinforce key clinical skills.

Interactive Hotspots

Adding interactive hotspots to specific points in the video can give more information to the learners. These hotspots can include text, videos, images, or links to external sources. VR platforms like InstaVR can be useful for this purpose.

Clickable Objects

Specific objects in the environment can be made clickable, and many actions can be defined for each clickable object. This will pique the learners’ interest and engage them more with the 360° videos. Annotations and popups can be shown when users click on specific objects to provide more information. Tools like Near-Life, HapYak, or Rapt Media allow you to add many interactive, clickable elements to the videos.

Incorporate Branching Narratives

To improve experiential learning, design multiple path outcomes with a 360° video storyboard and allow users to follow their own path based on their choices. The progression of the videos will be determined based on user decisions. WondaVR is one of the popular tools used to include branching narratives.

Integrate Assessments and Quizzes

Embedding quizzes and assessments in the videos and asking questions at specific points during the video will help users understand complex concepts and procedures. Feedback can be configured based on user responses, and immediate feedback will help them learn better. You can use web frameworks such as A-Frame, Three.js, or Video.js to create webpages and display 360° videos on the browser.

Implement Gamification

You can include gamification within the 360° videos with scoring, rewards, and leaderboards to motivate learners to improve their practical clinical skills using a gaming engine such as Unity, Unreal Engine, or Adobe Premiere Pro.


Creating 360° videos begins by choosing the right camera equipment and platform to create 360° videos. If these videos must contain interactive elements, there are various tools to choose from. Making the right choice with respect to technology and platform is crucial to ensuring that the eLearning material is accessible on multiple devices, irrespective of the platform. Also, while creating 360° videos, you must ensure that the entire course content is accessible for students with different types of disabilities and impairments to provide equitable education for all.

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