A 3D Virtual Reality Ophthalmoscopy Trainer

Wilson, Andrew and O'Connor, Jake and Taylor, Lewis and Carruthers, David (2017) A 3D Virtual Reality Ophthalmoscopy Trainer. The Clinical Teacher, 14 (6). pp. 427-431. ISSN 1743-498X

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Performing eye examinations is an important clinical skill that medical students often find difficult to become proficient in. This paper describes the development and evaluation of an innovative 3D virtual reality (VR) training application to support learning these skills.


The VR ophthalmoscope was developed by a clinical team and technologist using the unity game engine, smartphone and virtual reality headset. It has a series of tasks that include performing systematic eye examinations, identifying common eye pathologies and a knowledge quiz. As part of their clinical training, 15 fourth-year medical students were surveyed for their views on this teaching approach. The Technology Acceptance Model was used to evaluate perceived usefulness and ease of use. Data were also collected on the usability of the app, together with the students’ written comments about it.


Users agreed that the teaching approach improved their understanding of ophthalmoscopy (n = 14), their ability to identify landmarks in the eye (n = 14) and their ability to recognise abnormalities (n = 15). They found the app easy to use (n = 15), the teaching approach informative (n = 13) and that it would increase students’ confidence when performing these tasks in future (n = 15).


The evaluation showed that a VR app can successfully simulate the processes involved in performing eye examinations. The app was highly rated for all elements of perceived usefulness, ease of use and usability. Medical students stated that they would like to be taught other medical skills in this way in future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Wilson, A. S., O'Connor, J., Taylor, L. and Carruthers, D. (2017), A 3D virtual reality ophthalmoscopy trainer. Clin Teach, 14: 427–431. doi:10.1111/tct.12646which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tct.12646/full This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/tct.12646
12 April 2017Published Online
31 January 2017Accepted
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-05 - medical sciences > CAH02-05-01 - medical technology
CAH11 - computing > CAH11-01 - computing > CAH11-01-01 - computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology
Depositing User: Ian Mcdonald
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 11:59
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 12:01
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4837

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