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Immersed in Virtual Reality – TheHill’s VR showcase event



TheHill, a digital innovation catalyst embedded within Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, held its annual Innovation Showcase event on May 18, with a focus on virtual and augmented reality at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The event saw 16 exhibitors demonstrate their diverse innovations with over 100 attendees ranging from clinicians, administrative staff, students from Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities and representatives from local authorities and primary care in Oxfordshire and nearby counties.

The event also included a lunchtime symposium with speakers from Oxford Brookes, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and one of the exhibiting companies, i3 Simulations, discussing some of the difficulties of implementing advanced technologies like these into the NHS, as well as taking questions from the audience.

Ed Jaspers, TheHill’s Innovation Engagement Manager commented: “It was great to see so many colleagues from across OUH and our partners in the region – plus visitors from further afield – at the event.

“There was a real buzz in the room and feedback from exhibitors and speakers has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The event has given colleagues a much better understanding of how XR could support their work now and as it evolves, and it’s started
some interesting conversations at a strategic level about our Trust approach to XR going forward.”

The showcase ended with a social mixer, further helping to connect those in the space.

The mixer focused on the question of whether VR is “fad or future” for healthcare, and the panel of expert speakers included Ross O’Brien, co-founder of the XR Health Alliance; Ayaisha Ashfaq, AI and XR innovation consultant at the Royal Free; and Dr Payal Ghatnekar, immersive technology research lead at Torbay and South Devon NHS FT.

They discussed their own views on the potential and current scalability of VR solutions in the NHS, alongside discussing questions from the attendees.

To find out more about TheHill and how they support digital innovation within OUH and the Thames Valley, visit thehilloxford.org.

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