Press Release: VR medical training enabled by Oxford Uni-backed LIFE app

New virtual reality medical training app LIFE uses HTC VIVE Focus Plus for training doctors and nurses to save lives.

14 November 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Life-saving Instruction for Emergences (LIFE), a virtual reality (VR) medical training platform developed by doctors, nurses and researchers at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kenya and Oxford University with support from HTC, has officially launched today.

LIFE allows healthcare workers to enter a realistic 3D virtual hospital on their own smartphones or using a virtual reality headset, such as the HTC Vive. Using the app, they can practice life-saving skills on virtual patients so that they are ready to act quickly and effectively in a real emergency. In low-resource settings such as Kenya, access to simulation training can be difficult and expensive so using VR for training could enable more healthcare workers to receive the high-quality training they need to save lives.

The LIFE project was selected as a grant recipient of the “VR for Impact” initiative, sponsored by HTC VIVE, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The momentum from the support has enabled the LIFE team to create a new VR version of the LIFE app that runs on the ENGAGE platform, a virtual reality education platform developed by Immersive VR Education, and uses the new HTC VIVE Focus Plus headset.

The VR version of LIFE follows the launch of the smartphone version in April. The LIFE smartphone app is now being rolled out across Kenya through partnerships with medical and nursing schools and professional organisations such as the Kenya Paediatric Association. The platform has been extensively tested in beta, with thousands of healthcare workers already using the app on their smartphones.

Conrad Wanyama, a nurse from the KWTRP involved with the project and speaking at COINN about LIFE, said:

“We took a human-centred design approach to developing LIFE. We worked closely with nurses and doctors who have to deal with these types of emergencies and allowed them to test lots of early versions of the app.”

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