Virtual patient training platform launched

By: [email protected]

Posted on: December 14, 2020

Category: News

Virtual patient training platform launched

A virtual reality and augmented reality tech provider, built by an NHS trauma surgeon, has launched a new training programme focusing on interactions with a ‘virtual patient’.

The new programme aims to support medics and trainees to interact with AI-powered ‘patients’, either through their tablet, desktop or VR or AR headset, and role-play life-like, interactive scenarios.

The tool has been adopted by West Suffolk Hospital as a way to train staff recruited to work in the intensive care department at the hospital.

Tom Woollard, West Suffolk Hospital Clinical Skills and Simulation Tutor, said: “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. 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.”

Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are deploying the technology to allow training to continue safely, and to support training and development of soft skills, including session to explain diagnoses and treatment plans, build trust, and handle challenging situations.

The programme uses natural language processing and ‘narrative branching’ to allow medics to role-play life-like clinical scenarios, remotely.

The Health Education Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch has also adopted the ‘virtual patient’ training platform to facilitate independent student practice to develop communication and clinical reasoning skills, on demand.

Dr Alex Young, the former NHS surgeon who created the Virti technology, said: “We’ve been working with healthcare organisations for several years, but the pandemic has created really specific challenges that technology is helping to solve. It’s no longer safe or practicable to have 30 medics in a room with an actor, honing their clinical soft-skills.”

“With our virtual patient technology, we’ve created an extremely realistic and repeatable experience that can provide feedback in real time. This means clinicians and students can continue to learn valuable skills.”

“Right now, communication with patients can be very difficult. There’s a lot of PPE involved and patients are often on their own. Having healthcare staff who are skilled in handling these situations can therefore make a huge difference to that patient’s experience.”

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Tags: News

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