The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant not only hospitals having to improve their training procedures for staff and volunteers but also care homes and whose looking after the most vulnerable. A recent study conducted as part of the UK government’s TechForce19 challenge – in collaboration with VR training solution specialist Virti – has found improvements can be made when it comes to health and safety using immersive technology.
Provided with training on hand washing, donning and doffing PPE, and responding to an unresponsive patient (including resuscitation), carers in the randomised control interventional study were split between Virti’s solution and standard training.
A pre to post-training knowledge test found that on average carers who used immersive tech saw a performance increase of 230.1% in comparison to 16.75% for the control group. The test scores also highlighted the carers understanding of infection control measures was only 16% for the control group while the intervention group hit 92%, a significant difference of 76%.
“As a surgeon, it’s critical to me that our technology is evidence-based. As we roll out a completely new way to train, we want our users and customers to continue to see this platform as effective and reliable,” said Dr Alex Young, NHS surgeon and the founder of Virti in a statement. “Ensuring our care workers have the training they need to keep themselves and their patients safe is of critical importance.”
“Our care homes have taken the brunt of the impact during the pandemic, despite heroic efforts from staff, so we must ensure they are as prepared as possible to fight a potential second wave,” Young continues. “This study is an important step forward in how we can help that happen safely and at scale. The impact of digital, immersive training when it comes to knowledge retention and in reducing anxiety is evident from the findings of this study. We hope it starts a conversation around how we can better prepare the workforce for the future and for the challenges employees in any sector face.”
TechForce19 challenge awards UK innovators grants of £25,000 GBP to test solutions which support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19.