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Am J Pharm Educ. 2019 Apr;83(3):7456. doi: 10.5688/ajpe7456.

The Past, Present, and Future of Virtual Reality in Pharmacy Education.

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Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas.


Objective. To characterize how virtual reality (VR) has been and is being used in pharmacy education, and evaluate the projected utility of VR technology in pharmacy education in the future. Findings. Virtual reality technology has been used in pharmacy education for many years to provide engaging learning experiences. Although these learning experiences were not available in the three-dimensional digital environments provided by current VR, they demonstrated improvements in learning. Recent technological advancements have substantially increased the potential usefulness of VR for pharmacy education by providing immersive educational activities that mimic real world experiences to reinforce didactic and laboratory concepts. Virtual reality training that uses head-mounted displays is just beginning in pharmacy education, but more educational VR programs are becoming available. Further research will be necessary to fully understand the potential impact of VR on pharmacy education. Summary. Virtual reality technology can provide an immersive and interactive learning environment, overcoming many of the early challenges faced by instructors who used virtual activities for pharmacy education. With further technological and software development, VR has the potential to become an integral part of pharmacy education.


active learning; augmented reality; immersive; technology; virtual reality

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