Tele-mentoring using Augmented Reality technology in healthcare – A systematic review

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, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia

Background: During a healthcare procedure, tele-mentoring can provide instructions from an expert at a remote to a local, less-experienced practitioner in real-time. Augmented Reality (AR) is expected to enhance the efficacy of tele-mentoring by overlaying computer-generated three-dimensional content created by the expert and displayed for the practitioner to use a head-mounted or similar device. Several AR tele-mentoring prototypes have been developed and trialled worldwide, but the evidence on their effectiveness is still fragmented and unclear.

Aim: To identify how tele-mentoring systems that incorporate AR technology are being used in healthcare environments

Methods: Twelve electronic bibliographic databases were searched using the keywords: “Augmented Reality”, “Tele-mentoring”, and “Health”. The PRISMA checklist was used as a guide for reporting this review. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess the quality of the studies selected. The data were analysed according to the concept-centric approach and categorised primarily with regards to system performance and task performance measures.

Results: Twenty-five experiments were included for review comprising 11 randomized controlled trials and 14 non-randomized designs. Both mentees and mentors assessed the system performance and task performance according to 24 categories.

Discussion: The overall feedback of trainees using AR devices was generally positive. AR technology has been used effectively in tele-mentoring activities. Benefits of AR tele-mentoring systems in healthcare environments included improvements in trainees’ confidence, task completion time, task accuracy, and reductions in task errors, and focus shifts. Study limitations included low sample size, lack of statistical power, and absence of real-world scenarios in study design.


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