June 4, 2021By Lance Baily

WHO Academy Develops Mobile Augmented Reality PPE Course

The WHO Academy launched an app that has a new feature that deploys augmented reality (AR) technology to help health workers address a critical challenge that many face every day during the pandemic. The app is designed to enable healthcare workers to expand their lifesaving skills to battle COVID-19. For this reason, the app delivers mobile access to a wealth of COVID-19 knowledge resources developed by the World Health Organization, including up-to-the-minute guidance, tools, training and virtual workshops to support health workers in caring for patients infected by COVID-19 and in protecting themselves as they do their critical work.

The app was built around the needs expressed by 22,000 global healthcare workers in a WHO Academy global survey conducted in March and April of 2020. The survey found that two-thirds of respondents feel they need to be more prepared for COVID-19, particularly in infection prevention and control, case management, use of personal protective equipment and occupational safety, and risk communication and community engagement.

According to the WHO, overwhelming majorities of respondents said virtual learning on demand would be helpful in preparing for COVID-19 challenges. Respondents also shared that they typically access information on the internet via mobile phones and tablets.

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The app applies the latest technologies and adult learning science to meet the learning needs of millions of health workers, policymakers, and WHO staff around the world. Key features include learning guidance, learning materials and tools organized into the following COVID-19 subject matter areas:

  • Case Management: How to care for COVID-19 patients
  • Infection Prevention Control/Staff Safety and Health: Protecting health workers and the community
  • Epidemiology: Distribution, characteristics and determinants of COVID-19
  • Laboratory: Laboratory testing for COVID-19 in humans
  • Maintaining Essential Health Services and Systems: Strategic planning and coordinated action
  • International Health Regulations: Public health and international spread of disease
  • Risk Communication and Community Engagement: Communicating effectively with the public
  • Research & Development: Working toward a treatment and a vaccine
  • Operational Support and Logistics
  • Regional Information

The app also includes a new feature that deploys AR technology to help healthcare workers address a critical challenge that many face every day during the pandemic — staying free of infection while they care for patients. The 20-minute AR course demonstrates the proper techniques and sequence to put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE), which is critical to keeping healthcare workers safe.

In providing a resource to help clinical workers stay informed and free of infection while they care for patients, the app focuses on providing all healthcare workers with critical, evidence-based information and tools to respond to the pandemic. Thus, the application’s content is available in seven languages — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The WHO Academy Augmented Reality PPE Course is available on Google Play and through the App Store.

More About WHO Academy

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The World Health Organization’s WHO Academy is a state-of-the-art training institution that aims to bring the lifelong learning revolution to the health sector and reach 10 million learners around the world by 2023. As a center for delivering advanced digital and classroom training to health workers and others around the world, the WHO Academy was designed to be a game-changer for lifelong learning in health.

Headquartered at a futuristic campus in Lyon, France, the Academy plans to be a globally accessible school for the future, combining the latest technologies in digital and remote learning with advancements in adult learning science to offer innovative, personalized and multilingual training that meets priority needs.

The WHO Academy builds on the World Health Organization’s established reputation as a learning institution that currently delivers more than 1,400 courses for internal and external learners via 18 different digital learning platforms across the organization. To this the Academy brings a single digital Learning Experience Platform featuring innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technology to connect devices, users and data in the learning environment and to support learning through simulations. Learners can access the full scope of courses developed and curated by the WHO Academy via desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone — through a single profile and login.

The WHO Academy is not a separate legal entity but is being set up as an internal WHO division that is headed by a chief learning officer at the level of a WHO assistant director-general. The division is therefore an integral part of WHO under the management authority of the director-general.

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