COVID-19 is driving innovations in healthcare staff training process

COVID-19–accelerated adoption of emerging technologies will revolutionize the frontline staff education and training process and become a new normal once the COVID-19 crisis ends, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Urte Jakimaviciute, MSc, Senior Director of Market Research, commented: “The shortage of trained medical staff has obliged governments to consider alternative ways of mitigating the crisis such as retraining and upskilling workforce. Social distancing presents a huge challenge in providing frontline staff training, which previously revolved around face-to-face methodologies and approaches. No wonder that the use of digital solutions is becoming a fundamental part of the process.”

The right technology can become a transformational force in the healthcare sector. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the demand for remote training is increasing, eventually expediting uptake of digitalization and innovations in the medical training field.

Jakimaviciute commented: “The COVID-19 outbreak is driving a surge in companies offering digital training solutions. Aside from more traditional methods such as online and mobile phone-based training programs, companies are increasingly implementing innovative technologies and methods such as gaming-based apps. For example, the University of the West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and NHS Education for Scotland developed an online training program based on computer games technology, allowing the staff to increase their knowledge required to assess and treat COVID-19 patients by viewing the patient from all angles.

“By being accessible 24/7, online education provides a consistent, cost and time-effective way to gain more knowledge and get trained.”

While artificial, virtual and mixed realities were already used as tools to aid medical education, especially in the surgery field, COVID-19 presents new opportunities for these technologies.

Jakimaviciute continued: “The efforts to integrate innovations in technology and training are prompting new deployments and application concepts. TeamViewer launched its augmented reality–powered app for healthcare organizations to facilitate remote assistance, and enable healthcare workers to support and train one another virtually via smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses at any time and place. Oxford Medical Solutions is also providing a training platform that runs either in virtual reality or as a screen-based simulation.

“While online learning is being criticized as not as effective as hands-on experience to gain practical skills, interactive emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented realities can play a key role in addressing this training challenge.”

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