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An innovative COVID-19 training solution for healthcare professionals – based on gaming technology – has been developed through a collaboration involving University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Edinburgh Napier University and NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The training software can be used anytime, anywhere by healthcare professionals. Based on computer games technology, the online training program will better-equip staff with the skills and knowledge required to assess and treat COVID-19 patients, and will be updated and developed as new information is supplied.

The program allows trainees to view the patient from all angles, assess their symptoms, review their notes, consider all the vital signs and make decisions on diagnosis and treatment.

The interactive nature of the program overcomes some of the limitations that distance learning can encounter, including passive learning and lack of equipment, as well as the costs associated with delivering large-scale training in a changing situation.

UWS’s Dr David Ndzi said: “The outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the challenges in training a large workforce in a short space of time to cope with a rapidly changing situation."

"role of technology and decentralised training in this type of scenario is crucial and UWS has the skillset to develop practical and interactive virtual training; thereby eliminating challenges associated with lack of equipment and costs.”
David Ndzi, UWS

Dr Ruth Paterson, from Edinburgh Napier University, said: “At Edinburgh Napier, we are constantly seeking out innovative approaches to teaching and learning and during this pandemic it is crucial we meet the education needs of healthcare professionals. The interactive nature of the simulation game is aimed at promoting a deeper understanding of caring for people who are severely ill with COVID-19.”

The training program was developed by the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies (SCET) within UWS’s School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, alongside Napier’s School of Health and Social Care, with support from NHS Scotland. The program is available to access through the Napier University website. You can also view a video of the program on YouTube.

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