When the UK Government put the country into lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID)-19) pandemic it also requested volunteers to help with the influx of patients the National Heath Service (NHS) was expecting. Thousands of people did volunteer but that created another issue, how to suitably train so many people with critical COVID-specific skills. One method the NHS used was Virti’s immersive training solution.
The Bristol-based company’s technology was used to deliver remote educational programmes to NHS employees at scale, rolling out COVID-19 modules to staff via a virtual reality (VR) headsets, desktop or smart devices.
Virti’s software covered key areas such as how to safely apply and remove personal protective equipment (PPE), how to engage with patients and their families as well as navigating an unfamiliar intensive care ward. And because of the influx of staff tens of thousands of training sessions were recorded.
Previously selected to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme, Virti’s system uses AI to assess users and improve their performance after they’ve interacted with hospital environments and real patient cases in either VR or AR.
“We’ve been using Virti’s technology in our intensive care unit to help train staff who have been drafted in to deal with COVID-19 demand,” said Tom Woollard, West Suffolk Hospital Clinical Skills and Simulation Tutor in a statement. “The videos which we have created and uploaded are being accessed on the Virti platform by nursing staff, physiotherapists and Operational Department Practitioners (ODPs) to orient them in the new environment and reduce their anxiety. The tech has helped us to reach a large audience and deliver formerly labour-intensive training and teaching which is now impossible with social distancing. In the future, West Suffolk will consider applying Virti tech to other areas of hospital practice.”
Virti was founded in 2018 by NHS Trauma and Orthopedic surgeon Dr Alexander Young who was looking to improve healthcare training. The company is one of a number VRFocus has covered recently from the sector including Osso VR and Precision OS, two apps which specialise in surgical training.