These patients don't mind if you get too close or take your time.
University of Canberra nursing students are learning to conduct visual assessments using holographic patients in an Australia-first trial.
Assistant Professors of Nursing Jane Frost and Lori Delaney introduced the HoloPatient program to second-year nursing students last semester.
The technology allows students to interact with holographic patients projected into the classroom via a Microsoft HoloLens.
Dr Frost said students enjoyed using the technology, which offers three standardised patients filmed from all angles.
"One of the students said today that is was really good to get you to focus on using your eyes, because you can't actually use anything else with the hologram," she said.
"You can't touch the hologram and you can't take vital signs - you're actually relying on what you're seeing.
"That visual assessment is something that particularly students tend to skim over because they want to get their hands on the patient and do their observations, but standing back and just being able to look and describe what the patient looks like ... is how we're using it, so they're learning about patient assessment and about documenting that care."
Dr Frost said HoloPatient complemented other experiences offered throughout the nursing degree, including work with mannequins and her own work using Mask-Ed, a teaching method in which trained educators wear silicone props to play a character relevant to the lesson.
"HoloLens allows us to actually look at a patient and really study the patient without offending anybody," Dr Frost said.
"You're able to get really close to the hologram, you're able to stare at the ear and really have a good look at the image of the patient and try and then use clinical reasoning and clinical judgement to figure out what's going on with that patient."
Dr Frost and Ms Delaney hope to introduce the HoloPatient technology long-term.
"It's innovative, it's safe, they're learning from it and it's a new way of learning," she said.