Heart & Vascular

­MITIEverse: A Metaverse for Medical Innovation

Feb. 6, 2024

Virtual reality (VR) is taking the world by storm, and the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center — in partnership with the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation & Education (MITIETM) — is leading the wave in the medical educational realm. MITIEverse, a metaverse for medical innovation, is an app that will eventually offer an endless supply of resources and experiences in health care education, training and innovation.

Envisioned and developed by MITIE, the VR platform is taking shape around the world-class cardiovascular education pioneered by the Heart & Vascular Center. While invitation-only for now, users need only a VR headset and handheld device to download the app and enter the idiosyncratic environment.

The experience may be as simple as interacting with the Heart & Vascular Center's renowned leaders, collaborating with experts from around the world in one virtual auditorium, or viewing patient procedure videos. For further immersion, users may hold and examine a customized, 3D heart with congenital heart disease using haptic feedback through their VR handheld device. Additionally, they may participate in interactive hands-on training modules, or use virtual study spaces for collaborative learning or emerging technology exploration.

"There is literally nothing like it out there, and the opportunities for the platform are endless," said Stuart Corr, PhD, inventor of MITIEverse and director of innovation systems engineering at Houston Methodist. "We hope that, for every hands-on component in the Heart & Vascular Center, we can add a virtual or digital component."

The team is looking outside its doors as well, with conversations taking place with other renowned organizations in the Texas Medical Center and industry vendors. In addition to physician and surgeon education, nursing exposure is a major focus — all with accredited CME hours for the learner.

"Creating this plug-and-play metaverse approach for learners at all levels and in every corner across the globe really excites me — it will quickly become like the Netflix for VR medical innovation, and that is going to be a game changer," Corr said.

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Heart & Vascular