Augmented and virtual reality in teaching

Find out about the School of Pharmacy's innovative teaching spaces (including our 3D and AR facilities).

Virtual Reality Learning Spaces

We develop learning content using Virtual Reality hardware and software. The team have developed a new 'Health Cinema' for use on its programmes. This is a large screen, visualisation facility located in our 133-seat lecture theatre. The cinema-grade projection system can use both 2D and 3D to display content such as virtual anatomy or molecular visualisation.

Virtual_Reality spaces  

Virtual Patient Web-based Learning

Virtual Patient 425x199

Many of the above applications are available as web-based alternatives. Our Virtual Patient programme allows you to specify an environment, patient and therapeutic area to create a ‘case’ for students or healthcare professionals to hone clinical and communications skills.

Using a standard web-browser from a desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet, each case can record and mark an individuals progress, with the virtual patient giving ‘feedback’ to the user. This form of computer-based assessment can be used to help with training a workforce at pace and scale.


Native Apps

Native apps can be used on a smartphone or tablet running the Apple (iOS) or Android operating systems. 

Our apps use a framework we have developed to ‘push’ out information within the app so either clinicians or the public are supplied with up to date information. Content in the app can include computer-generated characters (or avatars) that demonstrate techniques that support treatment associated with long term conditions, such as the taking of an asthma inhaler or taking a blood pressure reading.


Applications are:‌

  • for continued professional development training to test your skills speaking to a virtual ‘patient’ with a pre-programmed clinical condition.
  • for demonstration of a technique that is complicated, which the avatar can repeat.
  • to demonstrate how medicine works inside the body with visuals of the drug interacting on the body at a anatomical or molecular level.
  • as a tool to remind the patient when and how to take a treatment
  • as a tool to communicate with persons who may not use English as their first language. 


Augmented Reality Apps

Augmented reality apps are native apps and only work on smartphones or tablets that have a built-in camera device. They can be made for private use or public via the Apple or Google Play app stores.

‘KARE’ – Keele Augmented Reality Environment is a system that will display virtual patients in the physical simulation rooms to practice patient diagnostic and communication skills.



Applications are:PharmaCard_290x405

  • to provide popup patients to support clinical simulation and communication skills training, without the need for dedicated rooms or manikins.
  • Pack recognition for drug information triggered by medicine packaging.
  • to provide 3D interactive models via relatively low cost devices (e.g. smartphones/tablets) by scanning images or ‘playing cards’ to trigger information.
  • To provide patient information on smartphones/devices to display clinical conditions and/or how treatment works inside
  • the body to help with patient adherence campaigns.

Search for ‘PharmaCard’ on your app store to download a free
sample and scan the ‘Amoxicillin’ image (right) for a

Please contact us at for further information.

Top 10 CUG Top 5 Guardian Athena SWAN