A protocol for Situational Tele-Mentorship using Augmented Reality in a Simulated Rural Health Environment

Mr Dung Trung Bui1, Associate Professor Tony Barnett1, Dr. Ha Hoang1, Dr. Winyu Chinthammit2

1Centre For Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia, 2Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia, Launceston, Australia

Background: Many rural areas in Australia suffer from the inadequate quantity/ maldistribution of the healthcare workforce. Tele-mentorship can offer a solution to maintain the professional skills for more isolated rural healthcare workers at a distance. It uses a technological communication device to provide instruction from an expert to a less-experienced practitioner at a different geographic location in real-time. The incorporation of Augmented Reality (AR) technology into tele-mentoring systems has been reported internationally. However, we do not know the usefulness of AR in mentoring clinical healthcare professionals remotely.

Aims: To evaluate the AR’s usability in situational tele-mentorship for managing clinical scenarios in a simulated rural health environment.

Methods: This study uses a pre-test post-test design. Three experienced medical practitioners and twelve newly graduated registered nurses are recruited to become mentors and mentees, respectively. Each mentee wears a HoloLens AR device and follows the standard protocols for the treatment proposed for each scenario under remote assistance from a mentor. The scenarios of Acute Coronary Syndrome, Acute Myocardial Infarction, and Pneumonia Severe Reaction to Antibiotics are selected and updated. Simulation labs are set up as rural emergency/medical room to run the scenarios. The outcomes include the perspectives of participants on the AR’s performance, tele-mentorship effectiveness, self-confidence, and skill performance.

Significance: Study findings may have potential for applications in rural/remote areas, as it provides rural practitioners access to expert professional instruction remotely. It also promotes an understanding of the use of advanced technologies in remote assistance in rural health.


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