The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth has made history with the opening of the first immersive virtual reality simulation center in Texas.
The Regional Simulation Center uses cutting-edge immersive virtual reality technology, in addition to lifelike simulation mannequins, multi-functional spaces and more traditional virtual reality. The center’s technology can replicate virtually any health care scenario across multiple disciplines and has uses for both medical students needing to learn new procedures in a low-risk environment and seasoned health care providers looking to hone their skills or acquire new ones.
“The opening of HSC’s new Regional Simulation Center is truly exciting as it is the first immersive virtual reality simulation center in the State of Texas,” said Dr. Michael R. Williams, chancellor of the UNT System and HSC president. “The cutting-edge technology will allow our students and health care providers to practice and learn new skills in the most realistic of environments. This will ultimately benefit patients and increase patient safety.”
The $6.75 million facility is in renovated space on the first floor of HSC’s Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library, 955 Montgomery St. The new center is also open for training for hospital residency programs, emergency medical service providers, hospital personnel, nursing home staffers, clinical teams, first responders and more.
“This is an incredibly exciting day for the Health Science Center and Fort Worth,” said Michael Crain, Fort Worth City Council member representing District 3. “The impressive technology here will allow both the current and future generations of health care workers to learn and practice the skills they need to improve the overall quality of care in Fort Worth. This is a win for our city.”
The center is set to deliver comprehensive health care simulation with techniques drawn from multiple disciplines and customized to the level and background of each learner. The lab’s fully immersive virtual reality projection component uses cutting-edge 360-degree cameras that allow staff to transport students into on-the-job scenarios.
“HSC’s Regional Simulation Center will not only improve health care outcomes and patient safety, but this state-of-the-art facility will also act as a beacon to potential medical school students, tech companies and other entrepreneurs,” said Leonard Firestone, City Council representative for District 7, which includes HSC’s campus. “The center will let business owners know that Fort Worth embraces new ideas, emerging technologies and is a leader in life sciences entrepreneurship. The economic impact of this center could be a game changer for our city as HSC strengthens its position as a premier health care institute.”
Photo: City Councilmembers Alan Blaylock and Michael Crain were among the dignitaries attending the ribbon cutting at the lab.