HebAR: Augmented Reality in midwifery education

New challenges in midwifery education

To date, the German midwifery education is at a pivoting point. While currently, midwifes are primarily educated through vocational training in the German dual education system, from 2022 onward, midwifes will be exclusively educated through the academic education system. This full academization of the midwifery education is an important step of increasing the status of midwifes in the medical context and properly preparing upcoming midwifes for an ever increasing amount of challenges in their everyday working life. Though this is a necessary and welcomed change, it comes with a set of new challenges that have to be adressed in the coming years.
Even with the academization of the midwifery education, naturally the practical component of the training remains of critical importance. Exemplary Bachelor degree programms, as for example the one offered at the Hochschule für Gesundheit Bochum that is one of the partners in the Heb@AR project, consist of 4380 hours of theoretical and 2200 hours of practical training. While this high percentage of practical experience is essential, it creates bottlenecks not only in the availability of physical space but also in regards to the availability of instructors and simulation patients. Furthermore, the academization only increases the heterogeneity of attending students, in turn magnifying the need for practical training, individual support and tutoring by teachers.
The first developed AR Training Prototype: The virtual preparing of a tocolytic injection. Displayed is the step of drawing up the syringe with a carrier solution.

Augmented Reality as a training supplement

Augmented Reality allows to contextualize computer generated visual information, instructions and feedback into the physical reality. This can for example be used to supplement trainings by augmenting virtual information to real objects or interactions in a physical training context or even simulate trainings with virtual ojects entirely, allowing for time and location independent training.

While Augmented Reality is a promising technology and recent advances in tracking and display technology increasingly allow for more application-context related research, many research questions in regards to using the technology in the medical training context remain unanswered. In the Heb@AR project some of those questions are addressed specifically in the context of the practical component of the academic midwifery education: How can such an Augmented Reality training application be developed? How feasibly, viable but also accepted would such a technology be by students and teachers in this context? What kind of teaching concepts are necessary to successfully implemented Augmented Reality in the long run? How could the technology be used to supplement the training of emergency situation, that are normally hard to simulate?

News & Updates

More information, news and updates on the Heb@AR project in German can be found on the official project Homepage and the official BMBF project page.

Project Partners

Beside the researcher team from the Hochschule Emden/Leer that is responsible for the technical implementation of the project, the Heb@AR Project furthermore consists of researchers from the Ruhr Universität Bochum responsible for the didactic considerations and the midwifery researcher team from the Hochschule für Gesundheit Bochum.

Team Emden

Responsible Investigators:

Jonas Blattgerste, M.Sc.

Email: jonas.blattgerste@hs-emden-leer.de

Prof. Dr. Thies Pfeiffer

Email: thies.pfeiffer@hs-emden-leer.de

Research Assistants: 
Sven Janßen (2020 – Heute)
Jan Behrends (2020 – Heute)
Jannik Franssen (2021 – Heute)
Nils Münke (2020 – 2021)