We live longer and the elderly population all over the world increases rapidly. The larger the population of elderlies the greater the need for automatization of processes in the care sector that help our caregivers provide the best possible care.
We developed a digital learning platform called ViVA. The solution combines VR and touch screen technology to train care workers in the use of assisted living aids in realistic settings.
The digital learning platform for care workers
Together with The Knowledge Center, we have developed a digital learning platform called ViVA, exploring the huge potential in applying virtual reality and touch screen as core technologies to train future caregivers in the use of welfare technologies in realistic, natural settings with future-proof, modern technologies, and practical, realistic learning approaches.
Challenge and ambitions
Because new technologies and new aids are constantly entering the market, The Knowledge Center for Welfare and Assistive Technology West Denmark’s (The Knowledge Center) goal is to enable staff in welfare to see the potential in these new, digital solutions and technologies in synergy with citizens. And therefore, the ambition was to improve the way professional caregivers are introduced to these new welfare technologies for the benefit of both the caregiver and the citizen.
As experts in digital learning and technological innovation, we were invited to help achieve the ambition.
Central technological elements: Oculus GO VR
Adding the opportunity to take an Oculus GO VR headset home makes the VR solution even more flexible and scalable. It gives the students the chance to continue the ViVA education and learning experience at home – in a less complex solution – by themselves or with relatives.
On the touch screen, students find preparatory education in welfare technologies, they learn about the purpose of and the navigation in ViVA, and they find introductions to scenarios and modules.
On the screen, students also get familiar with the many different kinds of welfare technologies they will meet when working with citizens, and by show-me-how-videos and different learning missions, the students can train how to use these complex technologies. Such technologies are very expensive and difficult to access for all students – this is why it is so important to train their use in virtual reality before handling them in the real world.
Oculus Rift VR and PC
Wearing a PC VR headset, the students get a life-like, immersive experience in virtual reality as close to a real situation as possible. Students will feel that they are really a part of the experience, that they get a deep understanding of both the welfare technologies and of the citizens they will take care of after studies.
BEHIND THE SOLUTION
The essential – and innovative – idea behind ViVA is that many different partners working within welfare technologies can contribute to the expansion of ViVA by feeding relevant content to the open learning platform. Thereby, new learning content does not only come from one party but from many different learning institutions and shareholders within this area.
The open platform is designed to be expanded with much more content, both specifically designed training modules and third-party material demonstrating welfare technology products and scenarios.
ViVA is designed for and supports practical learning in the Danish care sector. But the idea and thoughts behind ViVA offer endless, scalable opportunities for other professions, situations, and countries.
ViVA is as close as we get to reality. Our students know, are comfortable with, and are used to life in virtual reality – therefore, the learning in ViVA will stick to a much higher degree than learning through traditional classroom training.
René Martin Larsen, Manager, The Knowledge Center for Welfare and Assistive Technology West Denmark
ViVA was introduced at a number of educational institutions throughout the spring of 2019. Extensive tests conducted during the creation and development and reactions from teachers and students have since shown that learners are excited about this new way of training.
In the ViVA-platform countless learning modules can be built. The first two modules are named ViVA welfare technologies and ViVA dementia.
ViVA welfare technologies is a module that presents welfare technologies in a virtual home. First, the student meets a touch screen on which an instructor presents the various technologies that are typically installed in the home. The individual welfare technologies are demonstrated interactively or via videos embedded in the display. In this module, instructors can show students many different welfare technologies – many more technologies than schools can afford or have physical access to.
The second module, ViVA dementia, is a VR solution, that allows the students to ‘enter’ a home. Here the welfare technologies are presented in-depth and the students can practise hands-on use together with a virtual citizen in a safe and non-consequential environment. This enhances learning because students are not punished for making mistakes. On the contrary, they feel safe to learn by the mistakes and attempts made in this virtual reality.