Using virtual reality to allow paramedics to familiarise themselves with a new ambulance patient compartment design

Alinier, Guillaume, Salahuddin, Tooba, Karkar, AbdelGhani, Gueddes, Ahmed, Devaraj, Suresh, Velayudhan, Vimal Machampilly, Sayed Mohammed, Sulaiman Karickayil and Halabi, Osama (2021) Using virtual reality to allow paramedics to familiarise themselves with a new ambulance patient compartment design. Journal of Emergency Medicine, Trauma and Acute Care, 2021 (2). ISSN 1999-7086

jemtac.2021.qhc.42.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (245kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Background: Virtual reality (VR) is still an evolving domain that presents a versatile medium to simulate various environments and scenarios that can be easily reset between users, which can be particularly useful for training purposes. In this pilot study, we recreated the interior of a modular ambulance patient compartment with elements that can be moved and also had access to the real physical ambulance with the same interior design and equipment. The primary objective of this study was to determine the usability of the VR patient compartment in terms of functionality and sense of presence.
Methods: Paramedics were invited to take part in this pilot study which involved them attending a 15-minute presentation about ambulance safety and ergonomics, familiarise themselves with the VR equipment, position the modular elements of the ambulance patient compartment in the VR or real setting (and vice versa), and complete a questionnaire corresponding to the task completed and adapted from an existing tool. They were unknowingly timed during the activities inside the real and VR ambulance for comparative purposes.
Results: Twenty-seven participants were recruited, 77.8% of whom had no prior VR experience. On the 7-point Likert scale questionnaire, the participants scored the various aspects of usability (ease of grabbing elements, ease of recognising fixed/movable elements, distinguishing close from far objects, ease of “playing” the game…) between 5.59 to 6.26 and their sense of presence as 6.11 (SD = 1.121). Participants were faster arranging the modular elements in the VR setting than in the real one (8.78 min, SD = 4.47 versus 13.05 min, SD = 5.04).
Conclusion: VR technology and potential applications are still rapidly developing. This pilot study shows promising results in terms of ease of use and sense of presence for the paramedics. This demonstrates that VR can be used for interactive familiarisation with an environment such as an ambulance patient compartment and can be used to assist in their design.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: safety, ergonomics, training, ambulance design, virtual reality
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
B800 Medical Technology
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 08:29
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 08:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics