VR Education Holdings plc
('VR Education' or the 'Group')
Further roll-out of ENGAGE platform with renowned global partners
Oxford University, HTC, KWTRP partner with VR Education to train doctors and nurses to save lives
VR Education (AIM: VRE; Euronext Growth: 6VR), a leading virtual reality ('VR') technology company focused on the education and enterprise training space, is pleased to announce that the Group's ENGAGE platform has been selected by Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE), which launches today at the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) conference in Nairobi, Kenya. LIFE is a VR medical training app developed by doctors, nurses and researchers at Oxford University and the KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kenya, with support from HTC and VR Education.
LIFE allows healthcare workers to enter a realistic 3D virtual hospital on their own smartphones or using a virtual reality headset, such as the HTC Vive. Using the app, healthcare professionals can practice life-saving skills on virtual patients so that they are ready to act quickly and effectively in a real emergency. In low-resource settings, access to simulation training can be difficult and expensive and it is in this situation that using VR for training could dramatically improve outcomes by enabling more healthcare workers to receive the high-quality training they need to save lives.
In 2017, the LIFE project won the 'VR for Impact' competition, sponsored by HTC, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It is now supported by a wide range of global health organisations including the Wellcome Trust, Médecins Sans Frontières, USAID, DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The momentum from the win has enabled the LIFE team to create a new VR version of the LIFE app that runs on the ENGAGE platform and uses the new HTC VIVE Focus Plus headset.
The VR version of LIFE follows the launch of the smartphone version in April 2019. The LIFE smartphone app is now being rolled out across Kenya through partnerships with medical and nursing schools and professional organisations such as the Kenya Paediatric Association. The platform has been extensively tested in beta, with thousands of healthcare workers already using the app on their smartphones.
David Whelan, CEO of VR Education, commented: "Operating via our versatile ENGAGE platform, LIFE has been designed to provide healthcare workers with universal access to high quality medical education and offers the potential to dramatically promote access to life-saving knowledge in developing nations. Working with leading medical experts at Oxford University and delivering real-world applications using immersive technology puts us at the forefront of scaling difficult to teach training scenarios such as medical training and this is a significant first step for VR Education. Supporting LIFE on a pro bono basis will increase awareness of our ENGAGE platform with medical professionals and students which we are confident will lead to enquiries from medical trainers seeking to host their own applications on the ENGAGE platform on a paid basis."
Dr Chris Paton, the lead researcher for LIFE from the University of Oxford, commented: "The rapid adoption of smartphones by thousands of healthcare workers across Africa means that they now have the chance to access training that would have been too expensive to access using traditional face-to-face courses. By using immersive VR simulation training in combination with a personal smartphone app, the LIFE project has the potential to support healthcare worker training at scale."
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For further information, please contact:
VR Education Holdings plc
David Whelan, CEO
Sandra Whelan, COO
Tel: +353 87 665 6708
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nominated Adviser)
James Caithie / Liam Murray / Ludovico Lazzaretti
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7213 0880
Shore Capital (Joint Broker)
Toby Gibbs / Anita Ghanekar (Corporate Advisory)
Fiona Conroy (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7408 4090
Davy (Joint Broker & Euronext Growth Advisor)
Fergal Meegan / Ronan Veale / Barry Murphy
Tel: +353 1 679 6363
Buchanan (UK Financial PR)
Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Tilly Abraham
Tel: +44 (0)20 7466 5000
Notes to Editors
About VR Education Holdings PLC
VR Education, together with its wholly owned subsidiary, is an early stage VR software and technology group based in Waterford, Ireland, dedicated to transforming the delivery methods of education and corporate training by utilising VR technologies to deliver fully immersive virtual learning experiences. The Group's core focus is the development and commercialisation of its online virtual social learning and presentation platform called ENGAGE, which provides a platform for creating, sharing and delivering proprietary and third-party VR content for educational and corporate training purposes.
In addition to the ongoing development of the ENGAGE platform, the Group has also built two downloadable showcase VR experiences, being the award-winning Apollo 11 VR experience and the Titanic VR experience.
On 12 March 2018, VR Education listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and on the Enterprise Securities Market, a market regulated by Euronext Dublin. For further information, please visit www.vreducationholdings.com.
Life-saving Instruction for Emergences (LIFE) is a virtual reality and smartphone app delivering medical training through mobile and VR platforms. The platform was initially developed by clinicians and researchers at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and the University of Oxford, and its development has been supported by HTC, Oxford University Innovation, GCRF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Saving Lives at Birth, VR Education PLC and Médecins Sans Frontières.
LIFE is available to download for free from www.oxlifeproject.org for smartphones and Virtual Reality headsets or search for "Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies" on the Google Play Store.
Follow the LIFE project on twitter @oxlifeproject.org
About the University of Oxford
The Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford is a collection of research groups permanently based in Oxford, in Africa (Kenya, Uganda and DRC) and in Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal). Aiming to tackle infectious diseases, from malaria, TB and HIV to neglected tropical diseases and emerging infections, our research ranges from clinical studies to behavioural sciences, with capacity building integral to all of our activities.
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the fourth year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation.
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 170 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years.