Virtual reality, practical training: A life science evolution for changing times
Author: Jennifer Stango, VP, Customer Success and Industry
Today, nearly 42% of U.S. workers were working remotely due to COVID, which means healthcare providers are having more online interaction than ever with both patients and vendors. But healthcare is, for the most part, a “hands-on” service, heavily reliant on face-to-face interaction. Perhaps even more critical is the life science market, which can create therapeutics and treatments that help providers (and all of us) combat the epidemic.
But life science products—drugs, tests, medical devices, etc.—are heavily regulated, and almost always require education and training between maker and provider, and sometimes between a provider and a patient to ensure compliance and efficacy.
How can healthcare providers and life science professionals provide hands-on service in what’s currently a hands-off world? Looking further, past the pandemic, how can these businesses be prepared to pivot with the next major disruption that prevents or hinders face-to-face meetings, and ensure continuity of care, service, and their business as a whole?
The answer is VR, virtual reality, the hands-off way to provide personal training and care.
Safety first, always
As a life sciences company, how do you think about safely providing education and training on your technology to your customers? Yes, we’re heeding CDC guidelines on masks and social distancing, but with VR tools and systems you can achieve both – provide a safer environment and connect with more customers and patients.
For example, interactive training on a HoloLens type device. The HoloLens is a mixed reality device from Microsoft. It’s untethered, so the user can move freely while communicating with an expert or admin, and it’s integrated into Microsoft Dynamics and other applications built to serve the needs of life science professionals. Additionally, it enables a circular data stream (from what it “sees” and what’s in your back-end ERP and/or CRM systems) ensuring that no detail is left uncaptured, and no possibility for optimization (both of the user experience and supporting business systems) is missed.
Imagine a healthcare provider has received your latest device and has questions. They attach the HoloLens, and your technicians and trainers can see exactly what they see, guide their hands through set-up and use, and — by being connected to your back-end Dynamics platform — instantly serve-up additional information, such as training manuals, both in real-time and via, say, Outlook for use following training.
Training on devices is only a start. VR technology can be used in other real-life scenarios that could improve care and patient safety. For example, a team from a medical device manufacturer could be in the room remotely assisting a healthcare provider with a procedure, and not impacting the safety of either the patient or the provider.
Typically, when people think “life science technology,” they think of the deliverables and outcomes: the vaccines and therapeutics, the devices and prosthetics, etc. But by using VR technology in training and education, life science technology is now a process and mission, too.