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So far Patrick Johnston has created 39 blog entries.

Virti to train 15,000 NHS staff to tackle COVID-19

  Virti, a British virtual and augmented reality company, are preparing to retrain over 15,000 NHS nurses, doctors, cleaners and porters to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Virti said it was discussing with NHS trusts in south-west England about how to help staff work amid the risk of infection. If it goes well, they plan to expand elsewhere around the country. The NHS trainees include staff returning to work after retirement and existing staff switching from another specialism. "The U.S. and U.K. are mobilising groups that wouldn't normally be exposed to frontline patients," Dr Alex Young, Virti Chief Executive, told The Daily Telegraph. "The problem is, they've been out of practice and they need to be quickly upskilled. "Healthcare providers are finding it incredibly difficult to scale their traditional face-to-face training to meet the updated guidelines. Frontline staff need to be trained up quite quickly to put on the protective equipment." Young added that doctors feared operating beyond their limits in high-risk environments. Many were wary of picking up the infection and then passing it on. "The huge amount of stress and anxiety is really causing concern." Virti Trauma and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Young founded Virti 12 months ago. It uses [...]

By | 2020-03-26T15:48:47+00:00 March 26th, 2020|

Intelligent Ultrasound launch COVID-19 training module

Intelligent Ultrasound has released a COVID-19 training module for its Point-of-Care training simulator, BodyWorks. The module is free to hospitals users globally and is on simulators in the UK and the US. The module provides hands-on lung ultrasound training for frontline clinicians, with examples of scans showing typical COVID-19 infections. "Lung ultrasound has major utility for the management of respiratory related COVID-19 infection due to its safety, repeatability, absence of radiation, low cost and point of care use. It is also relatively easy to disinfect compared to alternative imaging modalities," Intelligent Ultrasound said in a statement The company added its doctors and software development team have been working around the clock to develop and release the module. It said it will help train clinicians to rapidly acquire and practice lung ultrasound skills. A team of home workers are ready to upload the module, it added.  

By | 2020-03-25T14:18:22+00:00 March 25th, 2020|

CAE and iRIS to share coronavirus scenario

  CAE Healthcare and UK-based iRIS Health Solutions are to make CAE’s COVID-19 Simulated Clinical Experience (SCE) for healthcare available free to the global iRIS community. iRIS and the SCE will be accessible to all of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) to aid collaboration. The SSH has 4,200 members in 60 countries. iRIS is a healthcare training authoring and sharing platform with over 1,800 users globally. It allows physicians, educators and healthcare professionals to create, share, and download training for use on simulators from different manufacturers. The addition of CAE’s COVID-19 SCE allows users to create derivative scenarios for different healthcare contexts and sets of circumstances. It will also enable the delivery of the SCE on other non-CAE patient simulators. "The Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) knows that our members are working tirelessly to develop and deliver critical training and educational experiences during this challenging time," said Bob Armstrong, President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. "Social distancing and sequestering are moving learning to virtual spaces. We thank CAE Healthcare and IRIS for helping improve patient care during this pandemic." Rekha Ranganathan, President of CAE Healthcare, said they are collaborating to support front line healthcare providers. [...]

By | 2020-03-24T13:57:48+00:00 March 24th, 2020|

Irish tech firm VRAI win innovation prize

  VRAI, an Irish data-driven VR simulation company, have won the Dublin City Enterprise Award. They receive €5,000 and will Dublin City at the 22nd National Enterprise Awards on May 28 at the Mansion House in Dublin. VRAI will compete against 30 other finalists from every local authority area for a share of the €40,000 prize fund. VRAI created HEAT, which allows organisations whose activities are risky, remote or rare to train in a more authentic and measurable way.  HEAT creates virtual training environments, with data capture and analytics, to improve performance, safety and training outcomes. They provide services to the defence, security, energy, utilities, aviation and construction sectors. "VRAI exemplify innovation," said Greg Swift, Head of Enterprise & Economic Development with Local Enterprise Office Dublin City. "The judges were particularly impressed by the calibre of international corporate clients they have secured in less than three years. We wish them continued success with their company expansion plans." Founded in August 2017 by Niall Campion and Pat O’Connor, VRAI develops VR training products for high hazard environments. Campion has experience of directing Film and VFX, while O’Connor served as senior officer in the Irish Defence Forces. He went on operational deployments [...]

By | 2020-03-17T16:23:14+00:00 March 17th, 2020|

Industry Vectors in AI, XR, 5G & More

  XR, AI, 5G, SCT Editor Andy Fawkes and industry experts look at some of the hottest trends in simulation and training technologies. There are numerous predictions of how, with advances in technology, the world might change over the next decade. Many centre around AI, the Internet, human interfaces, energy supply, health and transport, but how might safety critical sector simulation and training change? Predicting the future can be fraught because human endeavour is often chaotic and what seem like certain trends are consigned to history as other trends take over. However, as it is the start of a new decade, we asked industry experts for their view and have put together a guide to some of the trends in S&T-related technology. Innovation One does not need to be in the S&T community to observe that the take up of technologies, particularly consumer-focused, are accelerating. For example, mobile devices have reached levels of worldwide adoption in 10+ years which took telephone landlines 100+ years. Further, technologies once thought of as science fiction can now be found in our homes, such as Amazon’s Alexa AI. We are seeing both military customers and industry looking to this wider world and seeking the same level [...]

By | 2020-03-16T12:07:26+00:00 March 17th, 2020|

The Future of Training – Editorial Comment

New Editor Andy Fawkes and SCT colleagues deep dive into key technologies which are driving the transformation of training. “at the start of the decade, what is the future of training in the safety critical sector and what are the challenges and opportunities that might lie ahead?” The Future of Training The simulation and training domain never ceases to interest me with its synergy of people and technology, and its challenges both enduring and emergent. It has a global community that for the most part shares its ideas and standards and looks to other sectors for innovation. So, at the start of the decade, what is the future of training in the safety critical sector and what are the challenges and opportunities that might lie ahead? Will we still need training in the future? Given the current conversations around automation and AI one might think we will not need humans at all. However, although we see striking developments in both civil and military domains, it will be a long time before machines can be as versatile and agile in thinking as humans. It is more likely that the nature of many tasks will change and that there will be more human and [...]

By | 2020-03-16T11:39:43+00:00 March 16th, 2020|

Varjo delivers industry-first chroma key and marker tracking

Finland's Varjo have added real-time chroma keying and marker tracking as early access features for its XR-1 Developer Edition headset. Varjo say it is the first company to deliver chroma keying in real-time for mixed reality devices. It is an industry-standard technique known as green-screening and used in broadcasting and film. With marker tracking, professional users can instantly anchor any virtual objects to the real world using printable visual markers. Together, these two features allow enterprise customers to integrate virtual and real worlds, interact with photorealistic virtual content as they would in real life, and achieve pixel accuracy and occlusion inside mixed reality. "We’re excited to introduce real-time chroma keying and object tracking to our customers just three months after the first deliveries of the XR-1, enabling absolute immersion inside mixed reality," said Urho Konttori, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Varjo. VARJO CHROMA KEYING Varjo said chroma keying is beneficial for professional workflows where aligning virtual content accurately with the physical world is crucial. Users can define parts of reality, identify them with colour, replace them with virtual models or scenery without large costs. With chroma key, virtual content also occludes with real-world objects or hands, allowing intuitive interactions. [...]

By | 2020-03-09T22:01:13+00:00 March 10th, 2020|

Middlesex University invests in VR headsets

London's Middlesex University has bought five VR headsets so that student nurses can train in a virtual hospital ward. The university bought the devices from Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS). It follows the purchase of a four-bed simulation ward last year. Third year adult nursing and paediatric postgraduates are using the virtual wards. There are  plans to make the learning available to midwifery students later in 2020. “While wearing the Oculus Rift VR headsets, students ask patients questions to diagnose their condition. They then decide on the best treatment while making sure they follow certain procedures. The student nurses can develop confidence in tackling 20 different scenarios. These include patients who have difficulty breathing, diabetes, COPD and severe allergies. The students receive personalised feedback and grades using an analytics engine. Fiona Suthers, Head of the Clinical Skills Department, said: "Any simulation is only as good as the way it is debriefed so you have to use a very definitive evaluation tool led by experienced people which is embedded in the curriculum effectively. "Students can feel empowered to make decisions that they wouldn’t (normally) feel comfortable making... and take more risks.” Middlesex University One of the simulations includes a patient with Sepsis [...]

By | 2020-03-06T18:13:09+00:00 March 9th, 2020|

Antycip and British Universities create VR CAVE

  Three English universities and Antycip Simulation have come together to produce a VR Cave. The Universities of Bath, Exeter and Leicester worked on the £4.8 million VSimulators collaborative project. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded the project which hopes to change the way we build structures. The two VSimulators based at the Universities of Exeter and Bath will allow the engineering, infrastructure and architecture industries to investigate how humans respond to different factors. These inlcude movement and vibrations in buildings and structures. Antycip took responsibility for producing and installing the projected virtual reality environments. VSimulators worked closely with Antycip and Make Real in order to perfect the VR images of CAVE. The translation from computer screens and headset VR to projection, particularly with aliasing effects, could be somewhat unpredictable. It required trial and error in order to get it right. ANTYCIP CAVE With VSimulators, researchers can analyse how certain movements and different environments affect people psychologically and physically. This will support collaborative research between a range of disciplines. These include engineers, medics, physiologists, architects, bio-mechanists, sports scientist and psychologists, to explore how people respond to their surrounding environment. The University of Bath VSimulators platform combines projected [...]

By | 2020-03-03T11:31:10+00:00 March 3rd, 2020|

Singapore investing heavily in rail training

  The Singapore government has pledged S$100m ($720,000) towards improving its rail training, with investment in new simulation equipment planned. Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan unveiled the Rail Manpower Development Package (RMDP). The Public Transport Operators (PTOs) and National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) co-developed the RMDP. It aims to prepare workers to run an expanded and more complex rail system. Singapore will introduce three new rail lines over the next decade. This expansion coincides with upgrades to ageing rail assets and adoption of new operations and maintenance technologies. These include remote condition sensors and augmented reality to achieve greater cost efficiencies. Singapore said the RMDP enhances existing training programmes offered by the PTOs and initiatives supported by Workforce Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore. The RMDP comprises manpower development incentives, new scholarships and co-investments in training equipment. These include simulators or virtual reality equipment that help support more hands-on training.    

By | 2020-03-02T10:08:54+00:00 March 2nd, 2020|