Combining physical and virtual contexts through augmented reality: design and evaluation of a prototype using a drug box as a marker for antibiotic training

PeerJ. 2014 Dec 16;2:e697. doi: 10.7717/peerj.697. eCollection 2014.


Introduction. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health issue. Studies have shown that improved antibiotic prescription education among healthcare professionals reduces mistakes during the antibiotic prescription process. The aim of this study was to investigate novel educational approaches that through the use of Augmented Reality technology could make use of the real physical context and thereby enrich the educational process of antibiotics prescription. The objective is to investigate which type of information related to antibiotics could be used in an augmented reality application for antibiotics education. Methods. This study followed the Design-Based Research Methodology composed of the following main steps: problem analysis, investigation of information that should be visualized for the training session, and finally the involvement of the end users the development and evaluation processes of the prototype. Results. Two of the most important aspects in the antibiotic prescription process, to represent in an augmented reality application, are the antibiotic guidelines and the side effects. Moreover, this study showed how this information could be visualized from a mobile device using an Augmented Reality scanner and antibiotic drug boxes as markers. Discussion. In this study we investigated the usage of objects from a real physical context such as drug boxes and how they could be used as educational resources. The logical next steps are to examine how this approach of combining physical and virtual contexts through Augmented Reality applications could contribute to the improvement of competencies among healthcare professionals and its impact on the decrease of antibiotics resistance.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Antimicrobial resistance; Augmented reality; Mobile learning.

Grant support

The author declares there was no funding for this work.