OSU students create new virtual reality COVID-19 training program


STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma State University computer science students have created new technology to help fight the pandemic.  

They created a virtual reality simulator that allows nurses and doctors to train to administer COVID-19 tests and even hook patients up to a ventilator without ever being exposed to the virus.  

Dr. Joe Cecil, Professor of Computer Science at OSU, says his students created the technology in record time.  

“We knew there was a shortage of well-trained nurses and first responders who could interact safely with patients. The goal was very simple. Create these simulators, give them to the hospitals so that the nurse trainees as well as the nurses can actually be prepared,” said Dr. Cecil.  

Senior Sam Kauffman is the leader of the team.  

“It really makes me feel good that I’m doing something that benefits the pandemic,” said Kauffman.  

Nurses from Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas have tested the technology and helped the team improve it.  

“We test it, and we say when a nurse is doing something, ‘what if there is a code black or a code red going on, how do they respond?’ And then we challenge them with different tasks and different distractions,” said Dr. Cecil.  

Dr. Cecil says the goal is to get the technology into hospitals everywhere.  

“We give this away free of charge,” he said.  

Dr. Cecil asks anyone interested in using the program to contact him at j.cecil@okstate.edu

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