Non-profit KC Digital Drive (KCDD) recently hosted its AR/VR Heartland Developer Challenge Demo Day, sponsored by T-Mobile and held at T-Mobile’s Overland Park-based headquarters. It was the culmination of a year-long hackathon that brought together teams from Midwestern universities to explore new ways to use Augmented and Virtual Reality to improve medical training and procedures.
KCDD kicked off the hackathon challenge in 2021, working with multiple teams including the University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Kansas School of Nursing and the University of Central Missouri. T-Mobile hosted workshops and provided each team with access to its 5G network and technologies such as HoloLens devices from Microsoft and LiDar cameras from Intel. At the conclusion of the program, five teams made it to the February 2022 Demo Day to showcase their work and the concepts they had developed.
The top hackathon winning solutions were:
TEAM: University of Kansas Medical Center School of Nursing and Bundle of Rays
SOLUTION: XR Training Manikin
The team created a Virtual Reality solution as an overlay for training use cases. Manikins are "brought to life" and used to simulate various medical conditions for nurses to train on how to perform procedures. By using the T-Mobile 5G network, students can participate in training from almost anywhere in a virtual collaborative environment across KU MED campuses.
TEAM: Haptic Labs, XReps, University of Nebraska Medical Center-iEXCEL and 1623 Farnam
SOLUTION: XR Haptic Training
The team created XR surgical experiences that simulate medical procedures using haptics, giving students and medical professionals a real-world experience without practicing on living patients. Using real devices and body part props equipped with sensors, visualizations of medical procedures were presented in a Virtual Reality environment to be viewed from almost anywhere over the T-Mobile 5G network.
The hackathon honorable mention went to:
TEAM: University of Central Missouri
SOLUTION: 3D Models for Learning
The team from the University of Central Missouri created enhanced learning solutions with 3D models and voice-overs of textbook concepts, creating a collaborative learning environment to increase students' understanding and retention of concepts. Augmented Reality devices powered by T-Mobile 5G allow students to attend high-bandwidth immersive training sessions from almost anywhere at any time.
In addition, the AR/VR Heartland Developer Challenge Demo Day included a special guest presenter:
SOLUTION: Holographic Surgical Navigation
The team from Kansas City-based MediView has created a holographic surgical navigation solution to provide XR vision enabling a clinician to interact within the body of a patient, especially within soft tissue.
Looking ahead, T-Mobile and KC Digital Drive will continue to collaborate on programs and events that fuel technology innovation across the Kansas City region. With its supercharged 5G network as the foundation, T-Mobile is working to build the 5G ecosystem at home and abroad. The Un-carrier collaborates with universities and standards bodies to support 5G research and development. In addition, the company operates the award-winning T-Mobile Accelerator, the T-Mobile Ventures investment fund and it is a co-founder of the 5G Open Innovation Lab.
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