The Benefits of Augmented Reality for Pediatric Patient Education
When people experience augmented reality (AR) for the first time, they’re wow’ed by the experience, but often the question comes: how effective is AR? How does it compare to current methods of education? Since there are barriers to implementing any new technology or policy, it’s important to understand the effects.
In the case of AR and education, the studies are clear. Augmented reality can increase motivation, boost length of engagement, and improve retention and understanding of material, all of which work together to increase the efficacy of patient education.
Increase Motivation and Length of Engagement
Two of the biggest benefits of augmented reality are improving people’s motivation to learn and increasing length of engagement. Kids get bored of paper materials quickly and don’t understand the importance of going through medical preparation as well as adults do. Helping them better understand what will happen during their procedure can improve procedure efficiency, effectiveness, and ease. Using augmented reality, prep materials can be enhanced to make them more interactive, engaging, and even fun for patients to learn. This ultimately this leads to better cooperation, reduced readmissions and complications, and higher satisfaction for both the family and the patient.
Increased Retention and Understanding
One of the biggest problems with procedures is not understanding what’s happening. The hospital is already a stressful environment for many children and being confused about what’s going on adds even more anxiety, decreasing patient cooperation and making certain procedures more difficult to perform. However, if a child understands what the goals of the procedure are, why the doctors are doing certain things, and are more familiar with the equipment, the procedure can go much more smoothly.
If we take an MRI scan as an example, kids might have questions like:
Is this going to hurt?
What is this scary loud noise?
Why do I have to stay still? This is boring!
Even if hospital staff answer those questions during the procedure, a child will likely not be as responsive due to the numerous external stresses placed on them at the same time. On the other hand, if a child can explore an MRI machine from the comfort of their own home, interact with it at their own pace, and get answers to the potential questions they might have in a non-stressful environment, they will feel much more prepared for the procedure. Augmented reality education materials help increase retention and recall which prolongs the window in which the education materials can be used as well as maximizes knowledge transfer compared to regular, paper materials.
Nearly every hospital can benefit from implementing augmented reality in their patient education program. Get in touch to see if we can help your hospital!