Medical use cases for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) technologies continue to comprise a large part of the entire extended reality (XR) market. People can better understand how to respond in an emergency scenario using immersive learning and training tools while measuring and monitoring response times, efficacy rates, and emotional reactions to real-life crises.

The Swedish Red Cross has been at the forefront of education across its country and others, providing crucial training to workplaces so that employees can remain vigilant in the event of a disaster or accident.

XR Today has the pleasure of interviewing Lars Adamsson, Head of Education Unit, Swedish Red Cross, to discuss the major collaboration between his organisation and Warpin Reality.

With the joint venture, the Swedish Red Cross can upskill trainees to mitigate occupational hazards with rapid-response First Aid training. Immersive trainers like Warpin Reality’s trainer have joined many solutions worldwide that have dramatically improved engagement rates, response times, muscle memory, and skill-building.

Medical trainees have received massive support to improve their work performance with tools from companies like RealWear, ARuVR, Warpin, GigXR, Siemens Healthineers, SimX, and many others.

XR Today: What are some of the challenges that you and your organisation have faced in upskilling medical professionals?

Lars Adamsson: We’re not training medical professionals, but are aiming at the general public because first aid needs to be in everyone’s hands. This is not specific to medical professionals but everyone, especially in the workplace.

XR Today: What are some of the most critical skills they need, and why is regular upskilling such a important part of achieving this?

Lars Adamsson: We believe that everyone can save a life, and that’s why it’s really, really important. Of course, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is all over the world, and we’re in places that are really difficult, like conflict and catastrophe zones.

But in Sweden, many accidents happen at the workplace, and we hope we can contribute to making the workplace a little bit safer whilst giving people the tools to act and save lives.

We’ve been training people in First Aid since the 1800s, and it’s a very traditional area. We also want to challenge and explore new ways of learning and teaching first aid, so it’s really exciting for us to be in this partnership.

XR Today: You recently began working with Swedish firm Warpin Reality, which has been developing some amazing solutions for immersive training. What is the process for working with them?

Lars Adamsson: This has been a joint venture, and we’ve worked together a little beforehand. Now, we want to launch a joint venture to try new technologies and methods while changing traditional training methodologies in a very traditional market.

Warpin needed us as subject matter experts because we know First Aid, and they know the technologies. It’s been really amazing to work with them. Learning First Aid in VR and XR is not easy because we also want participants to train physically or interact with the people they’re treating.

The tech is still young and sometimes expensive, so for us, it was a great way to try to take these key parts and move them into XR. I think we’ve found the start of this process.

XR Today: What was it about the joint venture for you that appealed to the Swedish Red Cross, and how well did Warpin Reality facilitate that for you?

Lars Adamsson: I think we challenged them a bit because, at first, we were talking about whether we should have [learners] ask and answer questions, do multiple choice quizzes, and join other activities. However, we wanted to be as immersive as possible, because we always train immersively, whether physically training with the facilitator, online, or in virtual reality or extended reality.

That has been quite a challenge, but it also provided incredible possibilities to operate in a 360-degree world and actually see what’s happening around you. You can also do some physical procedures as well [using immersive technologies]. It turned out well, and they’ve been standing out with us because we’ve been a bit troublesome at times.

We asked them a lot of questions like, “Can we do that [section] once more?” “Can we try it out?” or “Can we change this part?” They’ve been listening to us and trying to help us do this in the best way possible.

XR Today: Before deploying the solution, what kinds of hardware, software, and solutions do you need to use to make the training module a success for those learning on it?

Lars Adamsson: I believe that Warpin can answer that question [but] we’re using [Pico] VR headsets for now. Of course, all of the training is in the headset, and we’re just launching it now.

We hope this framework can help people go a bit further and train without having to be in a group like traditional training methods, where you have to gather six to twelve people to complete First Aid training. Now, you can complete the training course as an individual when you have the time and the need to do so, so hopefully this will be easier for training at the workplace, where you don’t have to stop all your production. Instead, you can take one or two employees training in First Aid by themselves in XR.

XR Today: What kinds of specific metrics do you wish to improve with the training exercises, like response time, engagement, and others?

Lars Adamsson: Yes, we’re looking mainly to improve engagement and the willingness to help, act, and get over the threshold of waiting for someone else to help. When someone is in a crisis, it has to be you, and you have to be the first one to do something because others will help out instead. The most important part is giving you the will and the skill to help, and that’s what we’re aiming for.