AI “virtual patient” technology to help train NHS medical staff

Source: Virti

Virti, a virtual reality education platform, has announced the launch of an artificial intelligence simulation “virtual patient” that will allow medical staff to receive training remotely. 

A safe way to learn

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dearth of skilled healthcare workers. To counter this issue, a huge number of retired professionals, final year students, and trainees have been mobilized – all of whom need to be trained according to COVID-19 regulations. 

While in-person training is currently a limitation, telemedicine and digital tools are helping keep medics up-to-date. The “virtual patient” technology released by Virti is a safe way to help these professionals learn soft skills remotely. The NHS has been using Virti’s technology to train staff in hand washing, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and patient care. Now, the “virtual patient” will help them learn patient interaction and counseling through the life-like role-play simulation. These skills will undeniably help the clinicians interact with patients efficiently and confidently. 

Virti’s founder, Dr. Alex Young (a trauma and orthopedic surgeon) specifically aimed to build a scalable training platform that can help reduce errors in medical practice. He said:

“We’ve been working with healthcare organizations 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.”

Dr. Alex Young, Founder of Virti

How the “virtual patient” works: 

The “virtual patient” uses artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology to create real-life scenarios for the staff to interact with. According to the information it receives, it gives feedback so that the clinician can practice and improve. Moreover, access to the software is multi-platform: via desktop, tablet, or VR headsets.

Following Virti’s success and contribution, TIME has named it one of the best inventions of 2020.

Forbes Magazine


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