TAFE NSW to provide health professionals hands-on blood testing training using VR pilot

Meanwhile, UniSA is using VR technology to teach skills to children with intellectual disabilities.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

TAFE NSW, together with CognitiveVR, NSW Health Pathology, and Werfen, have developed a point-of-care blood testing (PoCT) virtual reality (VR) pilot to provide medical professionals with hands-on training.  

As part of the pilot, healthcare workers will be able to access the Werfen GEM Premier 5000 whole blood testing system using a VR headset, before using it to perform hands-on blood testing and equipment maintenance.

The New South Wales government claims the PoCT VR pilot will provide medical practitioners access to practical training, no matter their location, and would help overcome limitations such as social distancing.

"Importantly, the PoCT VR pilot aims to provide medical professionals with greater access to practical training and ensure workers have the critical diagnostic testing skills they need to provide the right care for our citizens during this challenging time," Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said.

Read also: AR and VR should be booming. So why aren't we interested?  

Elsewhere, VR technology will be used by the University of South Australia (UniSA) as part of a new program to teach children with intellectual disabilities skills that will help them become independent.

UniSA early career researcher and project lead Stefan Michalski said the VR program aims to teach children practical life skills, such as learning how to get dressed, how to cook, and any other routine skills that necessary to carry on with everyday life.

"Our virtual reality program will let a child practice a range of life skills in a safe and controlled environment so that they gain familiarity with the task and can build their capabilities to undertake it," he said.

"The beauty of VR is that it can be modified to complement an individual's learning style. Plus, it easily enables repeat scenarios so a child can practice a task until they are comfortable with their abilities."

UniSA will test the VR platform with children aged between 12 and 17 to assess the effectiveness of VR compared to traditional learning models.

"Life is a learning process. And while learning skills via a virtual environment is a novel approach, it's one that we feel will make a big difference to the many children that need extra support," Michalski said.

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