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Making News

Spectrum News 13: Hologram Technology Gives UCF Students a Chance to Virtually Learn from Patients

This school year, the University of Central Florida is giving students a first opportunity in their health care education, using hologram technology to allow students to learn directly from patients without the patient needing to be present. 

Dr. Lauren Bislick Wilson teaches students about acquired language and motor speech disorders, with video and audio recordings being vital tools for her classroom. 

“My students need to understand the perceptual, so how these disorders sound, how it impacts individual speech production as well as their language production,” said Dr. Lauren Bislick Wilson, an assistant professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at UCF.

A new piece of equipment called PORTL is taking that immersive education one step further. With hologram technology, UCF students are getting a chance to learn about patient health care directly from the patient without ever stepping foot inside the classroom. 

Bislick Wilson says she was skeptical at first but was amazed at how well patients could demonstrate tremors in the arm through the hologram, even showing how it looks when someone with Parkinson’s walks.‚Äč

“But with the portal, you really feel like that person is there," Bislick Wilson said. "And that makes a huge difference."

Dr. Bari Hoffman, associate dean for clinical affairs in UCF's College of Health Professions and Sciences, said they will be able to create a library of patient experiences for students to learn from, allowing them to keep unwell or immunocompromised patients safe while exposing students to far more conditions. 

“Especially with the rare conditions, if they’re exposed to even more of those, they’re more likely to identify those, help an individual, get to diagnosis quicker and treatment and improvement quality of life much faster,” Hoffman said. 

The lifelike hologram technology will better educate students and better prepare them for future careers, according to Hoffman, calling it a game-changer for UCF.

“I think it’s really going to amplify their learning and their connection to the content," Hoffman said. "Already, in some of the pilot work that we’ve done with students and faculty, just seeing their faces light up, their interest in the content, just blowing their mind that this is what they’re going to be, the tools they’re going to be learning from in college."

Watch as Spectrum News 13 explores this innovative tool here.

Source: Spectrum News 13

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