University of Toledo College of Medicine selects Barco's virtual reality solutions for new Immersive Simulation Center

Xenia, Ohio, USA – 1 December 2011 – Visualization pioneer Barco announced today that its I-Space and CADWall systems have been installed by the University of Toledo, serving as the cornerstone of a new virtual immersive reality center designed to educate future generations of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. Housed within the University of Toledo's Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (UT-IISC), the simulation solutions will play a pivotal role as the University forges a new era focused on enhancing interdisciplinary medical education and collaboration in clinical, behavioral and human factors research and practice.
Barco's two 3D stereoscopic immersive CADWalls and an I-Space system are fully operational in the virtual immersive spaces of the Center, allowing educators, researchers and students alike to explore the human body in a brand new way. The four-sided I-Space “virtual room” portrays 3D computer images of skeletons, organs, arteries and medical conditions, allowing participants to “walk through” parts of the body for a truly immersive learning and training experience. 3D visualization of anatomy will be projected to show normal and abnormal pathology as well as CT scan reading. The Barco I-Space will be used to simulate entire environments such as operating suites.

“Our goal is to increase patient safety, reduce errors and improve the quality of care by using simulation models and simulated clinical settings – which offer a more cost-effective, hands-on, yet non-invasive alternative to Halstedian techniques – to train a wide array of health care professionals,” commented Pamela Boyers, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education and Executive Director of the Center. “Barco's I-Space and CADWalls are essential to creating a highly effective teaching model. The realism and versatility they bring to the medical education experience is absolutely phenomenal.”

The UT-IISC will ultimately deliver a unique and comprehensive range of simulation experiences under one roof according to a “Tri-Center” concept. The integrated centers will include a progressive anatomy and surgical skills center; an advanced clinical simulation center; and a virtual immersive reality center, encompassing a broad spectrum of sophisticated clinical simulation and 3D technologies. The purpose is to provide a virtual, interactive environment to depict real-life medical scenarios, conditions and procedures – from disaster medical readiness to childbearing – for advanced learning, teaching, skill development and clinical practice. The Center is currently in the prototype phase located in a temporary pilot facility, which is already accommodating more than 800 learners a month. A new $36 million, 60,000 square foot Tri-Center – funded in partnership with ProMedica Health System – is under development.

“We are embarking on a revolutionary new model for the education of medical professionals, one that takes not only an interdisciplinary, but also an interprofessional, approach to health care delivery,” commented Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., Chancellor and Executive Vice President for Biosciences and Health Affairs, Dean of the College of Medicine. “Barco's virtual reality solutions will help us in developing improved techniques that not only improve patient outcomes in terms of shorter hospital stays, reduced complications, and enhanced treatment protocols, but also make healthcare more patient-centric on a daily basis.”

Barco's I-Space is a multi-sided, cubic immersive environment that completely surrounds a user with virtual imagery, creating a complete sense of presence in the virtual environment with the use of rear-projection technology and flawless image continuity. Barco created the world's first active/passive six-sided I-Space, utilizing 12 state-of-the-art projectors equipped with motorized polarizing systems. The system enables users to switch from active to passive stereo at the touch of a button.

The CADWall is a multi-channel, ultra high-resolution 3D stereoscopic display wall featuring multiple edge-blended projection systems. From projectors to screens, it is a fully integrated Barco solution, ensuring maximum synergy between components. The brightness, high resolution and color depth of the display portray highly realistic imagery, ideal for interactive, larger-than-life depictions. Multiple sources can be visualized simultaneously in any combination of mono and 3D stereo with uncompromised image quality, regardless of source type. All local and networked image sources can be controlled with mouse and keyboard. The end result is a collaborative visual workspace that enables researchers to work with each other in real-time, both locally and remotely from other locations.

“We applaud the University of Toledo's vision and commitment to cutting-edge medical education, and are honored that they've chosen to invest in Barco's simulation solutions to further their mission,” commented Hans Dekeyser, VP Sales Control Rooms and Simulation for Barco North America. “Based on our mutual spirit of innovation, we look forward to a long partnership based on supporting the University's pursuit of quality medical education focused on enhancing healthcare outcomes.”

About Barco
Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with about 3,500 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 897 million euro in 2010.

© Copyright 2011 by Barco

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