Medical Physics VR Group
Our research is based around two projects: REViVR:X and Nystagmus Oscillopsia Simulator using Virtual Reality.
The REViVR:X project aims to provide a teaching programme for x-ray physics aided by a suite of novel resources. The programme aims to address an absence of simulation training resources for a wide audience of practitioners involved in X-ray system operation, as identified by new legislation (IRMER 2018). The suite of complimentary educational tools includes:
- Interactive 3D PDF models to augment traditional teaching in lectures.
- A 2D smartphone app allowing the user to explore the effects of x-ray exposure settings on image quality and learn to select appropriate exposure settings for different examinations.
- An interactive virtual reality x-ray room incorporating x-ray physics, placing the student in an environment which mirrors a real x-ray system.
The educational resources together create a unified suite of tools that delivers a memorable and informative learning experience for radiologists, clinical scientists and radiographers.
Nystagmus Oscillopsia Simulator using Virtual Reality
Nystagmus is a condition where the eyes move involuntarily. Most people with nystagmus adapt to their involuntary eye movements but a significant number do not and must suffer with the world constantly moving around them. The symptom of the world constantly moving is called oscillopsia.
A collaboration between Medical Physics and the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics at the University of Sheffield resulted in a 6-month Insigneo Bursary to produce a virtual reality smartphone app to simulate oscillopsia. The app uses eye movement recordings from real patients with nystagmus and replicates the eye movements within virtual reality. The app allows the user to gain an appreciation of what it is like to experience oscillopsia.
To download the app please search the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for “Nystagmus Oscillopsia Sim VR” or use the following link on a mobile device: play.google.com/store/apps/details
The app was funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity. The app must be used in conjunction with a Google Cardboard device purchasable from many outlets (we recommend you purchase a headset with a physical button – not NFC button).
Below is an example of the oscillopsia app which is to be viewed in a virtual reality headset.
Meet the team
Dr John W. Fenner BSc, PhD, CPhys, MInstP, Senior Lecturer
John Fenner has been in medical physics for thirty years, beginning his career in the NHS and now a Senior Lecturer in Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield. He is a registered clinical scientist and uses this to facilitate clinical collaboration. He is course coordinator for undergraduate Medical Physics teaching, but also enjoys active participation in research - he currently has 5 post-graduate research students under his supervision and also co-leads an international PhD training network (Marie-Curie funded). He has extensive experience of varied research programmes, and is an experienced examiner of PhD theses/vivas.
Dr David Randall MPhys, MSc, PhD, Research Fellow
David graduated with a first hons in Physics and is a registered Clinical Scientist in medical physics. David undertook a PhD in medical image processing in 2013, completing it in 2017. From 2016 onwards David has focused on applying VR technology to meet medical needs, including a virtual reality colonoscopy and simulation and therapy for different eye conditions such as nystagmus.
Mr Giles D. Morrison BSc, MSc, MBA C.Phys, C.Sci, MIPEM, MInstP CS01609 RPA, MPE (Diagnostic Radiology), Head of Radiology Physics
Giles has been head of section for 10 Years and has 25 years’ experience of delivering Radiation Protection in healthcare. Giles is the Deputy Regional Physics QA Chair for the NEYH QARC for Mammography and represents the IPEM Radiation Protection Special Interest Group as the Lead Medical Physics Expert on the Health Research Authority Guardians on Medical Research Exposures. Giles is also the FRCR registrar radiologist teaching and training lead for radiology physics.
Mr Jaspreet Belkhu MPhys, Research Assistant
Jas graduated with first hons in Medical Physics and has two years’ worth of experience in research within medical physics, ranging from optimising 129-Xe Hyperpolarised MRI to the application of Virtual Reality in teaching and rehabilitation. Jas is the principal software developer on REViVR:X VR x-ray education project.
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