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Developing a new tool to transport patients to a virtual dialysis world

03 June 2021

Thanks to our funding, Dr Ben Reynolds and his team at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow together with scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University are developing a virtual reality tool that transports nurses, children on dialysis and their families to a virtual dialysis world and provides guidance, support and training.

Ben Reynolds
Dr Ben Reynolds

Dialysis takes practice

When the kidneys fail, dialysis can replace some of their filtering role and helps people stay alive. Dialysis can be done at home as well as in hospital, but for many patients, this is their first experience of having to do something clinical and they need hands-on training.

Dialysis is a practical skill that requires observation and the tasks involved need repeating many times.

Children rarely need dialysis, so families of children with kidney failure don’t have many others supporting them to learn the techniques involved. It is also hard for nurses to get enough experience performing dialysis procedures in children.

Using virtual reality to train patients and nurses

In partnership with The Stoneygate Trust, we have awarded Ben and his team an innovation grant of £49,910. Innovation grant awards allow researchers to develop particularly innovative and novel ideas.

Ben and his team at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow are working with Professor Vassilis Charissis and his team at Glasgow Caledonian University, to develop the virtual reality dialysis tool.

Ben Reynolds virtual reality research
Nurse testing virtual reality tool

By transporting them to a virtual dialysis environment with machines, equipment, and ‘real-life’ patients, it will provide guidance, support and training for nurses, people on dialysis and their families.

Also being able to give subtitles in different languages, the tool will give users the chance to gain ‘hands-on’ training and experience and to understand what to do in various problem scenarios during dialysis.

This new research could also allow patients choosing between different dialysis methods to virtually experience all methods and make a more informed choice.

Find out more

Read more about our newly funded research.

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