VERT - a radiotherapy revolution

VERT - a radiotherapy revolution

Applying video-game tech to making radiotherapists more effective at treating cancer throughout the world.

The multi award-winning Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system developed by the University of Hull uses advanced computer graphics to simulate a life-sized treatment room.

This allows trainee radiotherapists to hone their skills in a safe environment without risk to patients or blocking access to real equipment.

Our researchers used the technology normally featured in video games to develop a 3D virtual replica of a fully equipped therapy suite – including a simulated patient.

Trainees use head-tracking technology to walk around this virtual treatment room. It allows them to learn how to maximise radiation delivery to the tumour while minimising damage to the rest of the body.

VERT even improves on reality by making the patient transparent – revealing the location of the tumour and neighbouring organs.

The UK Government was so impressed that VERT became part of its Cancer Reform Strategy. It has been rolled out to 40 hospitals and 10 training institutions nationwide.

To market VERT commercially, a spin-off company, Vertual Ltd, was created. It now has a multimillion-pound turnover and more than 100 customers in 16 different countries.

The system, used worldwide for radiotherapy education and training, was developed during a six-year collaboration with Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

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Trainees use head-tracking technology to walk around a virtual treatment room to learn how to maximise radiation delivery to tumours while minimising damage to the rest of the body.

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