How many of you know what a mobile virtual presence device is? Of those who said yes, how many first heard of them from an episode of The Big Bang Theory? Well, get ready to put your geek on because we are about to look at how these devices might be used for prehospital education and maybe even more.
Using the webcam of the iPad, the user can see what is in front of them as they roll the device around. Someone looking at the device can see and interact with the user on the screen. Think of it as a robot stick figure. The user can be anywhere in the world as long as both users have a Wi-Fi connection.
They were first used in the business world for people to attend meetings without having to actually be at the meeting. They were also used at education institutions for long distance learning.
David Gurchiek, PhD, is a former paramedic and current department chairman for Montana State University's nursing, health and public safety programs in Billings, Montana.
"We currently have online and hybrid training programs that include online and lab skills days at the university," explains Gurchiek. "As far as I can tell, no one else is using these devices for paramedic training.” Gurchiek says. “In the traditional smart classroom used for distance learning, the cameras in the room don't move. With these devices, the students can move the device and look at who is talking or face someone they want to talk to. We are calling them MedBots."