UK-based Virtual Reality (VR) startup Moonhub has launched an immersive VR platform used to train social and health care workers in caring for dementia patients.
Called Elara, the platform deploys a 360-degree, video-shot VR world to help professionals conduct enhanced patient care.
Elara brings a new approach to traditional classroom and eLearning methods; empowering healthcare professionals to enhance patient care through a patented highly-immersive, low-risk VR training program, reports BBH.
“Dementia affects everyone differently and can be a very-distressing experience” said Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies and director of the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University, who co-curated Elara’s new training program.
“Staff must have an understanding of how people with dementia might see the world, and the impacts of what other people say and do, as well as the physical environment on the person’s wellbeing and behavior.
“The VR training I have helped curate places staff in realistic care scenarios to help them develop the skills and knowledge to prevent or reduce distress.
“Research indicates experiential dementia training like this can help increase their empathy and understanding, potentially improving the quality of care staff deliver, and we hope VR will offer an exciting avenue for providing experiential learning opportunities.”
Moonhub’s researchers found that VR technology helps workers retain knowledge 75% more than online and class-based learners.
The training course guides workers on how to better communicate or recognize distress. It also uses role play to train, such as helping dementia patents prepare for the day.
Dami Hastrup, founder and chief executive of MOONHUB, said: “The pandemic has shone a spotlight on health and social care, highlighting its strength and resilience during the most troubling of times.
“We immediately recognized the importance of social care and the need for investment and development in the future and when we first started building the program, we wanted to ensure we had the right resources and expertise to offer a state-of-the-art experience to those training in the healthcare sector.
“We believe dementia education and training for the health and social care professionals is vital and we’re incredibly excited to be the first to offer an immersive and accessible solution to upskill learners with the appropriate person-centered care through the power of VR”.
The technology is remotely deployable, and does not require physical spaces to execute. Therefore, learners can train anytime, anywhere.