Arena XR: The Future of Medical Learning

  • April 30, 2020


Surgeon-Leaders at The Cleveland Clinic Heart + Vascular Institute recognized a key gap between medical education’s focus on technical skill acquisition and a surgeon’s success in the OR: ability to lead and collaborate in high-stakes situations. Since its founding, Arena Labs has been pioneering new ways to think about using technology for training performance in high risk environments.


We jointly developed technology through Cleveland Clinic Innovations to bring a first-generation immersive learning tool geared toward Resident Education to begin training for performance-oriented skills and leadership in their early careers as surgeons.

The product, ArenaXR, is an immersive training platform utilizing Hollywood graphics technology for a hyper-realistic, interactive visual environment. It delivers data-driven, immediate feedback for individual and team clinicians to train + improve performance for surgical operations. Users are able to build situational awareness of their environment while working to develop their decision-making, communication, and stress-regulation during moments of intense pressure.


This BETA product drives new thinking about how state-of-the-art immersive technology can redefine learning, not for technical skill acquistion, but for the same performance tools used by other high-performing cultures in sports, the military, and the creative arts, targeting:

  • Self awareness: Tracking and understanding of stress triggers and performance choices under pressure.
  • Team and situational awareness: feedback loops for insight on team performance under pressure.
  • Skill development in pattern-recognition.
  • Decreased anxiety due to feeling “unprepared.”

When it comes to performance and teams in the OR, the adage See One – Do One – Teach One leaves harrowing room for error. No longer willing to accept this pitfall, our partners continue to innovate with this technology, which has become an additional draw to their program.