St John Ambulance WA is now using mobile and virtual reality in its first aid training, allowing people to use virtual reality to learn how to respond to an emergency, hone lifesaving skills and make first aid more available.
The non-profit is pioneering a technology called First Aid Skills which uses mobile app or a virtual reality headset to guide users through three training simulations – CPR, defibrillation and the DRSABCD action plan using a Medical Information Assistant (MIA) that offers step-by-step instructions throughout the training.
Additionally, sensors are linked to a resuscitation manikin to provide feedback on things like the correct rate of compression during CPR and breathing frequency.
St John CEO Tony Ahern said the mobile and virtual reality technology is “a breakthrough” in helping introduce more people to first aid.
“This is truly groundbreaking technology that will allow more West Australians to develop or practice the skills needed to save a life,” he said.
“Our education pods are durable and mobile, meaning people can undertake training at their own pace, and at their workplace, school or public event. The technology itself is immersive, fun and equips users with the confidence to effectively respond in an emergency.”
A smartphone and tablet app has also been developed to deliver on the same training offered by the virtual reality version.
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Ahern said the technology puts users in an environment that more closely reflects real-life scenarios, teaching them to maintain composure in high-stress situations.
“Short, cost-effective training will allow us to conduct training all over WA. Think remote regional towns, while you are waiting for a plane at the airport, anywhere.”
He added that the launch of St John Skills comes off the back of the success of the St John WA First Responder App, which has and continues to enable people to help someone in need and ultimately, save more lives.