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Quick Hits: Healthcare Workers Use VR to Learn Skills for Treating COVID patients

Health professionals with little to no experience in treating infectious disease are learning with virtual reality.

The global coronavirus pandemic has spread healthcare facilities thin as far as personnel. A recent CNN article discussed how some facilities are picking up the slack with the aid of virtual reality simulations. Tasks they’re learning include how to correctly apply and remove protective equipment, use ventilators, as well as the updated guidelines related to basic CPR and life support, and managing a diagnosis. The software hospitals are using is from a startup called Virti, which provides feedback and metrics on which procedures medical professionals may need more work on.

"We wanted the exercises to embody what is happening in the real-world right now," said Virti founder Dr. Alex Young. "One simulation puts the user alone in an isolation room, where they can see nurses and doctors come in and out, so they can get an idea of how scary it is for patients. It's easy to forget the basics of communicating through the masks, so scenarios like this help with bedside manner."

Virti has enrolled 70,000 new users in the US, UK, and Israel in the past three weeks.

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