NHS doctors and nurses in England are being given access to training in treating Covid-19 patients from some of UK-based technology companies.

A consortium called Resilient XR has provided the health service with interactive videos that allow healthcare staff to rotate the content 360 degrees and view it from any angle.

The group is a collaboration between industry, academia and government. It is made up of Microsoft, volumetric production studio Dimension, digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult, content distribution platform VISR VR, mixed-reality development agencies Fracture Reality and Make Real, the University of Leeds’ Centre for Immersive Technologies, and University College London.

Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Health Education England (HEE) are advising and contributing to Resilient XR to ensure the content is accurate, informative and up to date.

Dr Andy Lewington, consultant renal physician and associate medical director for medical education at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “Online resources for medical training have long been required, but the production has rapidly accelerated in light of the impact of Covid-19 on the UK and an urgent requirement for remote education using mixed reality technologies.

“Similar upskilling is required across all domains of healthcare. In an environment with continuous change for both clinical treatment and safeguarding, these training resources need to be maintained ongoing for accuracy and currency.

“As a group we’ve proved we’re able to combine our broad skills and the resources available to great effect and I’m confident in Resilient XR’s ability to fill the wider clinical skills gap with immersive training.”

Around 20 videos have so far been published on Dimension’s website, and they have seen 1.6 million session launches since it went live in March 2020.

The content is mostly in 2D and focused on clerking and ward management of a suspected Covid-19 patient, how to administer ventilation and maintaining emotional well-being as a frontline doctor.

Future training sessions will include the use of Microsoft HoloLens devices so holograms can be included.

The consortium worked with GIGXR to create HoloPatient: Covid-19, which creates a hologram of a Covid-19 patient and guides the HoloLens user through four stages of the illness.

HoloPatient: Covid-19 is available globally in the Microsoft HoloLens store.

Microsoft’s HoloLens devices have also been used to carry out ward rounds for patients with coronavirus.

Doctors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been wearing the computer headset so that only one doctor has to enter the coronavirus ward.