In Episode #3 of the AR/VR Magazine podcast, we interview Dr. Alexander Young, an NHS trauma surgeon in the UK, who is now the Founder/CEO of a company called VIRTI, an immersive training platform with a key focus on the medical and healthcare industry.

Alex has a lot of key insights on using AR, VR and AI for training applications and shares how one of VIRTI’s current applications is being used to train medical staff for COVID-19 related scenarios. (Full podcast transcript below)

Show Notes

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Full Podcast Transcript:

[00:00:00.360]

Hey, everybody, this is Sean from AR/VR Magazine, and today I’m joined by Dr. Alexander Young, who is an NHS trauma surgeon and founder and CEO of a company called VIRTI, which I mentioned a little bit on my last podcast. VIRTI is an award-winning immersive training platform with a special focus on the health care and medical industry. And Alex has a lot of key insight on VR, AR and artificial intelligence and how it applies to training applications.

[00:00:27.720]

So, with that said, I’ll see in the podcast if you like this podcast. Be sure to click the subscribe button. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and tick talk in order. Stay up to date on all the latest episodes. Today’s podcast is brought to you by Kemweb, offering full service digital media marketing, video production consulting services to help you grow your digital business. For more information, go to www.kemweb.de/en.

[00:00:59.150]

Welcome to the AR/VR Magazine podcast. Your source for news, trends and analysis of the AR, VR and immersive technology industry. This podcast has been brought to you by the Robot Spaceship Podcast Network. For more info and other great podcasts series, go to Robot Spaceship Dot com and subscribe. And now your host, Sean Early.

[00:01:24.080]

Hey everybody. Welcome to Episode three of the AR/VR Magazine podcast. I’m Sean Early and today I am joined by Dr. Alexander Young, who is an NHS trauma surgeon and founder and CEO of a company called VIRTI, which is an immersive training platform with a key focus on the medical and health care industry. Alex, it’s great to have you on the show.

[00:01:42.650]

How you doing, man? Really good. Yeah, thanks. Having me on the show. It’s been been really kind of exciting couple of weeks for us as everyone starts to emerge out of the cave in under lockdown. Right. I mean, I’m I didn’t tell my Harry Potter accent from the UK. I’m I’m currently trapped in in England, in the southwestern. Brits do it. Right. Very hot and sunny, which is very nice. So nothing like being inside in the summertime.

[00:02:09.540]

So how you know, I guess I guess. Let’s let’s kind of lead to the whole topic here.

[00:02:16.190]

But now VIRTI is a. It’s an immersive training platform. So basically checking out the Web site and everything you do a lot of sort of medical related training apps in VR and XR maybe you want to touch on, like how you got started, what your background is, and then we’ll kind of go into more specifics for the listeners.

[00:02:40.510]

Yes, sure will say my background’s, as you mentioned, is in medicine. So I trained as a doctor in the NHS, specifically specialized in trauma and orthopedic surgery, which for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, that is fixing broken bones, giving people hips and knee replacements and sports injuries. Say, that was my kind of day job on that side. I always wanted to see from when I was younger, but I’ve always been very much into technology, always been a gamer and always been cool entrepreneurial.

[00:03:11.160]

Say, when I was a med student, I had a company that did online training for doctors and nurses internationally who were babysitting medical exams because doctors and nurses need to tulasi pass lots of exams before they they see patients. And. Right, I guess from what from my time training in surgery and surgery is very much an apprenticeship model of training. And by that I mean the you you have to go and work with the surgeon and see how they do things, learn from them, practice under that cheap ledge before you then go into your own private practice and finish your training.

[00:03:50.370]

Right. Globally, how that basically works as you try and learn from as many surgeons as possible, get specific face to face feedback, whether that’s on your communication skills in a clinic, whether it’s on your such technique or operating on a patient. And really medical training as a whole hasn’t really changed a huge amount over the last couple hundred years. If we sort of rolled back the clock to maybe like Renaissance Times or if you’ve ever seen any of those pictures of operating theatres in London.

[00:04:24.020]

Right. You know, you might might see online. And one of the reasons I called theatres is because it used to be that members of the public or people learning could sit in stands a little bit like a football stadium. All right. The surgeon perform an operation in the middle of all that to basically learn. Say what? What what we’re basically now is that surgeons and medics and most people who learn on the job practically either learn from textbooks or e-learning, which which are scalable.

[00:04:55.080]

We’re not particularly engaging or they learn on the job or use quite expensive simulation. So in healthcare, what tends to happen is you have a mannequin or a specialized kind of what’s called a SIM man or a computerized patient where you practice your medical technique on them, you communicate with them or with actors in face to face training environments, and then you are assessed. And for me, Sunny, when I was training, along with a lot of my colleagues, that wasn’t particularly convenient.

[00:05:27.030]

Are you ready to come into a physical environment? And the other problem was it wasn’t particularly, I guess, objectively assessed. So things like communication skills, you know, if if I was talking to you and there was someone assessing our kind of rapport or how we’re communicating together, that feedback would be very subjective based on the kind of assessor’s own experiences, experiences and their interpretation of how we are communicating. So it is very difficult making that data objective.

[00:06:00.110]

And then the final part, which, you know, for me was the big one was on any day the week anywhere in the world, I could go into any hospital and have a very different learning experience than one of my peers who could even be in the same hospital. But they could have a different patient there assess and they could have a different trainer explaining how to do something. They may be in a resource limited environment so they don’t have access to MRI scanners or things like that.

[00:06:30.990]

Say the equity of access to on the job training is very, very unequal really for learners globally. Say, one of the things really that I wanted to do was look at ways we could use technology to improve access and equip equitability of learning and training environments to specifically the healthcare workforce by actually any anyone in any sector globally such that they are better prepared. And when they’re going through these training environments, there’s a way to. Lee Clack data on that performance and whether that is things like communication skills, which is is often forgotten or subjectively assessed, or whether it’s more practical things like surgical technique, where it’s difficult getting things like speed of performing the stages of an operation or how you move your hands in three dimensional space.

[00:07:26.140]

Those are always the things that I thought if we could if we could nail those dots, really providing organizations globally, we think very unique to prepare the workforce for what is effectively the future of work. And I know kind of specific mission of 30 is therefore to make experience, show education and training affordable and accessible for everybody in order to improve human performance. And I guess from my Passell background, certainly working in the National Health Service in the UK, which is one of the biggest healthcare providers globally, it’s got one point five million doctors, one point five million Karazin and auxiliary staff, huge, huge workforce.

[00:08:11.830]

The workforce really is the lifeblood of any organization, I think, in the health care sector. We’ve certainly seen that during the cable crisis and my interests have always been how can we support those people? And it is about human performance. Are you improving your people to then make the workforce better, make the organisation better, and in health care, improve patient safety?

[00:08:35.920]

So that leads to VIRTI and maybe one of the things I touched on in my last podcast really quickly was the fact that you guys have been recently working on a project that has that was helping to train health care professionals in the UK for Calvet specific use cases.

[00:08:55.750]

Was this something you already sort of had in the pipeline or is this something new that you just banged out for this specific situation?

[00:09:02.380]

Yes, it is really interesting. Say, from from day one, when we spoke to trainers and educators, both within health, Garonne and in other sectors like oil and gas and the military and L.A. departments, that business is one of the big problems with traditional, I suppose, e-learning or some of the early virtual bench reality training solutions was that they were very fixed in the type of training they provided, say nothing really was able to provide an end to end solution with regards to the type of technology.

[00:09:35.360]

So there wasn’t really any way for organizations to create and manage their own content or to manage their own analytics through a system, say, when we were building VRT back at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. One of our key missions and goals was to grow it. So it was very, very flexible, such that content could be quite quickly scaled out across a variety of platforms, whether that way an Oculus go at the time or not.

[00:10:03.610]

This quest, or whether it was an HTC standalone headset or the hollow lines, we wanted something that worked across all those things, but with a central purpose of pulling out the data from how users performed and learned. So what we basically go is effectively a Web based platform which provides organizations with the tools to create and manage their own virtual reality, know when to do reality training experiences. And we do also do a 2D video as well, which can work in headsets or mobile phones, remote training.

[00:10:38.920]

Again, with a focus on us going in and identifying organizational learning needs and then helping organizations develop that immersive training strategy around the platform. So when it falls forward to cable, which obviously came on very, very quickly, and in the healthcare sector, which is where one of the biggest sectors that we work with, they were in a really interesting position where they had to effectively redistribute a lot of the doctors and the nurses and the frontline healthcare staff from their existing day to day roles and departments into intensive care or respiratory units because the cable 19 virus is overseas.

[00:11:24.550]

That affects respiratory tract and patients from ventilators. So lots of people who are coming from different departments like, say, dermatology then needed to be up skilled on how to utilize ventilators, how to work with new team members and new departments and staff everywhere needed to understand how to put on protective equipment, because that’s not something that every single type of health question does on a day to day basis and also be upscaled on new guidelines, say things like CPR and basic life support, where you’re resuscitating someone which is obviously relatively hopefully infrequent event, but if done incorrectly, can be obviously very, very detrimental.

[00:12:07.900]

Now, you needed to put on protective equipment and take precautions so you weren’t infecting the patient or yourself. And so what we were seeing with a lot of the doctors, nurses, frontline healthcare workers were becoming very, very stressed because they weren’t 100 percent sure how to put on the equipment or what it meant to be moved to a different department or different hospital. Right. And so when you base it was we worked with some of our existing partners, including the NHS in the UK and the number of health care providers in the United States around how we could deploy at scale training solutions that covered all of those things.

[00:12:48.450]

They from putting on protective equipment to things like communication skills when you’re actually in a face mask or something like that. And the rapport with the patient has lost. So we really it was almost sort of like a compliance rollout in many ways, because we not only were we supporting the frontline healthcare staff, we were also ensuring that the organisation knew who had actually done this type of training. And one of the big problems with kind of traditional e-learning was that if people were pushing out TV videos or just text based information, there wasn’t a huge amount of engagement and it was quite difficult to track whether people were actually doing it.

[00:13:28.330]

Whereas in virtual reality, you can obviously track where people are looking with either the headset gaze view. With eye tracking, depending on the headsets, you can also have pop ups and interactivity points where people are moving the hands and what they’re doing. Say it basically meant that we could pull out a lot more data and up skill the workforce very, very quickly and get on the back of that. We were very lucky in that we had some some great existing networks to help us do that on some fantastic subject matter experts in in infectious disease departments internationally and say we were able to kind of scale that out relatively quickly and then end up picking up an award from the NHS where they actually gave us some grant money to then do a specific study around the use case of using the platform to upscale carers who were another sector of the health care workers.

[00:14:31.640]

We’ll see. It had been a little bit left, left behind the frontline workforce with regards to training and and helping them through the cave epidemic. I’d say with the research funding for that, we would then be able to prove that our platform, the content being created and distributed through our platform, effectively improved knowledge retention by around about two hundred and thirty percent of people who with which was phenomenal. Right. And the actual kind of pace training performance was significantly higher than the control group who weren’t using the platform.

[00:15:16.460]

We were just using traditional training like like e-learning and things like that.

[00:15:21.090]

And that was that was actually fantastic. We’d previously done some research, but, you know, that that was really, really impactful both for us and the organisations. And then you probably weren’t, you know, one of the coolest things that’s happened to me since founding the company and, you know, we’ve been very lucky in that we’ve won a bunch of awards and things, but we just randomly got an email saying, you’ve been featured on the Nasdaq tower in Times Square, the stuff you’re doing.

[00:15:54.010]

I saw it on your on your Instagram. I mean, you did not for that. Very rarely would that happen or at least, you know, we don’t have that right. How did they view it? It was you know, that was that was really, really fun. And then, you know, it’s been just really satisfying hearing back from some of the my peers, I guess, in the United States, in the UK as well, about how quickly they’ve been able to then apply that training and how they kind of felt reassured that it’s reduced things like anxiety around infection control and improved, you know, the stress levels and things like that in some cases say they’ve been been super secret, busy time for us.

[00:16:33.960]

But, you know, hopefully very, very rewarding in the way that we’ve been able to to interact with our existing customers and new customers. Well, I think.

[00:16:43.700]

One of the most interesting things, I mean, that the keywords that you’re you’re thrown out that really sort of get me excited about this one is, you know, obviously the scalability of having a platform that allows you to be flexible quickly, to be able to integrate content and create some sort, of course, quickly.

[00:17:06.590]

And also the ability to have analytics behind it, you know. On top of that is pretty, pretty cool. I mean, having been involved in a lot of at least just VR projects, I mean, one of the biggest problems, obviously, other than just the distribution of the hardware, is just the time that it takes to to develop these things.

[00:17:34.400]

And I think what what really interests me about your platform is it seems like it’s it’s fairly flexible and fairly quick.

[00:17:40.370]

I mean, if, you know, in a situation like like the Kovik case where, you know, it’s like a maybe a just a short short part of the course, I don’t know the length of the course. But, you know, if you think of just one one training scenario where it’s like just putting on gear and properly, you know, disinfecting and washing your hands and stuff like this, I mean, how long would it take just just off the top of your head to create something from like content creation to to implementation in your platform?

[00:18:11.900]

Yes. I think what we normally tell people is certainly for TV and 360 Virtual Reality Creations Suite. If you’re looking to take immersive content in a video format, which in many respects is the most scalable and probably most realistic way of of immersing a user into a virtual reality environment, that is is literally just the time it takes for someone to do the actual physical in-person training. All right. With the advantage of that then being stored and saved forever.

[00:18:51.890]

Say, whereas in traditional practice, you might have someone from from the infectious diseases team or the simulation team at a hospital having to do, you know, upwards of a couple hundred, if not thousand training sessions to upscale an entire hospital workforce, showing them all how to put on protective equipment. Yeah, that’s very costly. It’s very time consuming. And it’s also a one off for the learner. Whereas with the type of training we’re talking about, that is then put onto both a headset and it can also be accessed through a desktop browser or it can be accessed your mobile as well as say that.

[00:19:34.700]

Right. The users also have it just in time training, i.e. just before they actually applied in real clinical practice. They can look it up as a reference guide. So then you’ve got the impact of reducing things like skill fade and improving knowledge retention and things like that. Hugely important.

[00:19:51.660]

So that’s all sort of tiered in 360 approach. When we look at doing things like soft skills training or more computer generated environments, depending on the organizational organizations needs that can, depending on what it is, sometimes be even quicker because we obviously already have the computer generated assets, you know, in our system. And then it’s the case of certainly for soft skills training, basically writing out what is effectively a script using some templates. And again, that can be distributed in virtual reality headsets via augmented reality headsets like the hollow lands where you presented with a virtual avatar or on mobile devices as well, too.

[00:20:37.120]

OK, cool. What would you through native mobile interfaces as well say? You know, I think the speed of creation and the ease of creation, we really tried to build our creation tools such that anyone can use them. You don’t need a particular technological background and need to understand unreal unity. It really is kind of plugging in. And then you get all the the advantages of the analytics which are built in there as well with some clever behind the scenes artificial intelligence.

[00:21:08.130]

So what can you tell me about the sort of layout of the platform itself now? You know, if if I was a client, what would I expect? Exactly. So there are. Is this just something where you sort of preload it on a mobile VR headset and just distribute the devices themselves with the app in it? Or is there more of a like a back end log in for the client to be able to track their statistics and performance and everything?

[00:21:39.140]

I mean, what how how deep does it go? Exactly. What is that? Yeah.

[00:21:43.910]

So, I mean, we. And again, this is based on kind of feedback from our customers say we can when we talk about kind of our product, we call it an end to end solution in terms of base space, us as a business. And in terms of the technology, say the way that we operate as a company, lots of organizations may not have a virtual reality strategy or they might not even know about the benefits of VR or a or immersive technology or A.I. in that that people plan or that training and learning development plans.

[00:22:16.920]

So often the first step and we have this available on our website, we have a team of learning development experts and tech experts where you can contact us for free kind of diagnostic for your company to see how this type of technology could best fit and suit and solve some of your organizational needs. Now, the caveat to that is that because we’re kind of training geeks, we need that VR. And isn’t the kind of kind of panacea to solve every single organizational problem, say occasionally we get requests and we actually turn people down and say, you know, this isn’t a good use case for V or A or you’re better using e-learning or in-person training.

[00:22:59.600]

Right. But that we will help people sort of on that journey and we will map out the BASKIS cases for this sort of tech in their organization. And then our platform, as you say, Shuen, as its Web based. So you have the administrators, the educators can actually log in. They’ve then got access to our creation suite where they can create content after they’ve been through the onboarding process with the onboarding team. And they can all say license or purchase content from other organizations for really kind of quick plug and play experiences if they want to access that.

[00:23:39.720]

And then we’ve also got this analytics engine which which sits in the Web based dashboard as well. So anything that’s created automatically when it’s utilized by the users, their analytics are displayed on the dashboard a little bit like a learning management system where you’ve got great drilldown analytics right from the top level. So you can see across the whole organization, then you can focus in on a particular simulation. And then on a particular user. And we’ve got it lots and lots of really quite, quite specific and detailed analytics around performance and unique data insights using data science on how people perform in these environments, such that we can kind of calculate things like decision making, speed and lots of things that might not be possible in the real world.

[00:24:25.140]

And then the final piece of the puzzle, again, as you say, is that sort of management on the distribution side say in order to scale training, we can then that’s then automatically pushed out when it’s published across mobile devices. Android OS, as well as all of the who had headsets that base exist at the moment, say we we can kind of see a number of different things as a company. And I think the flexibility content has been very interesting for us because one of the funnest things is often just working with organizations and hearing their ideas and their creativity around what they want to do with the platform and how they feel it’s going to improve the performance of their staff.

[00:25:13.600]

So we’ve done everything from mental health training to health profit for healthcare professionals or for public and private sector organizations. I sort of resilience training or how to understand mental health. We’ve done mindfulness in that kind of same vein, as well as face to face training, as well as things like soft skills, which is a massive part of our business as well, say Doree. Very flexible, very diverse. And the most important thing then is feeding back the the return on investment and the performance analysis of the impact the platform has on workforce’s say we will collect data and we’ll feed that back to the organization.

[00:25:57.500]

And we’re very, very transparent around that. Right. I would say that at this point. Let me ask you, just as somebody who’s been been developing this for a long time, I mean, do you feel that there is a.

[00:26:19.230]

Are people more accepting of VR applications for training if they’re available, or do you think they’re skeptical?

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I mean, what is the what’s the general temperature of that? That yeah, maybe just the health care, obviously.

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But in any any industry. How are you feeling about that? What’s the feedback you’re getting? Yeah.

[00:26:43.420]

I mean, I think it’s interesting is my my background is also in healthcare, which is is very cynical of many things at the best of times. And I think as well, with my background kind of having introduced new talks of technology into organizations before, whatever, you know, whenever you go into an organization, you have you got to make sure that you’re basically aligned to that goals and a strategy, say, I suppose when we go in and we we have conversations with our customers or potential customers, we’re not so much pushing the technology aspect.

[00:27:19.120]

More say the outcomes and the impacts of how it could improve things for them. And utilizing some of the real world data to see what type of strategies could be employed, say, I think I think compared to, you know, when we were getting started the beginning of 2018, we are certainly now seeing more and more organizations adopting immersive technology training into their existing learning development workflows, which is fantastic. Same as there’s artificial intelligence. And there’s a bit.

[00:27:52.710]

I’m sure everyone listening knows about the adoption curve, where you see things like A.I., virtual reality, block, chain, whatever it is, peak when it first gets announced in the press and everyone thinks this is going to be the next big thing, that’s going to be amazing. And then it goes through effectively a dip where people actually all are looking for practical use cases and really trying to get that data. Not the least impactful results to show that this works and shows that it’s something that is going to be integrated into the future of how people behave.

[00:28:26.790]

And then once that happens and that often takes a little bit longer, then you see, again, a resurgence in it. And I think where we are with immersive training in general is is in that resurgence area in now say literally just yesterday at the time this is being recorded, the Oculus go with was effectively kind of degraded by Facebook with a push towards the Oculus crest. Right. And like enterprises, enterprise, consumer headset pending any any new releases, which I believe are coming.

[00:28:58.740]

So the technology is continuously advancing. And I think what a lot of people don’t realize is a lot of the really deep technology that powers headsets and just taken was like the RNA or is artificial intelligence say things like division, things like plane mapping and all this. This type of attack is continuously being updated and researched in the, you know, the really deep tac research literature. And we’re very lucky to have on our team a number of, you know, very, very well versed A.I. experts, games, developers and forth.

[00:29:37.760]

So we are continuously looking at what was on the horizon and how these newer types of technology can can really impact people. And I’ll just give you one example from healthcare for that, say with things like the whole lens to which we are very fortunate to get an early version of the you know, there’s a ton of really, really exciting stuff you can do with that. So if you think about what I was saying earlier around health professionals using mannequins and in some areas, particularly resource limited environments, those mannequins are pretty unrealistic that that quite old in some cases and brain have been pulled apart by people just sort of practicing CPR on them.

[00:30:18.090]

So the realism there is lost and that doesn’t allow for the real stress and emotion of clinical practice to be replicated in a training environment. And therefore, you don’t get that lock in in the short term memory or any significant translational learning benefit. But what you can do with things like a hollow lens is you can train it to map to the image of a cheap mannequin and then you can overlay a much more realistic looking human. And that he can even speak back to you will show signs of clinical improvement.

[00:30:51.570]

When you write, you’ve got to have tic feedback pressing on the chest, say that sort of, I guess, blended exo is really, really interested, very exciting, as is the integration of artificial intelligence into these technologies. Say a lot of the stuff that we do looks around A.I. analysis of people’s performance, whether that’s that communication and teamwork, whether it’s people’s spatial position of the hands and movement and. Immersive environments, and that allows us to pull out these unique insights, say, game, match your original point.

[00:31:25.500]

I think the answer is yes. I think increasing numbers of organizations are looking at immersive and A.I. and all these new technologies as a way to improve that, that people in the workforce and lots of other ways. But I think there is still a lot of education to be done. It really sort of explaining what the benefits are good and bad. Looks like some of these organizations. And I think, you know, we often have conversations with organizations who reach out to us.

[00:31:55.200]

And maybe the first kind of sentiment is just that it’s it’s a cool new toy to sort of just engage the workforce. And then we sort of get through an education process. Then we explain actually it’s much more impactful, not as much more depth than what it can do. And this is something that we feel is going to be preparing the workforce for the future. But I think it is there are some subtle points there on how the technology works were, you know, that’s our job basically as a as a provider of these types of technologies to explain to people and in clear and simple terms how and why they should be adopted and how and why they they work.

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Right. I mean, I, I, you know, it’s it’s kind of like you’re preaching to the choir because I’ve you know, I’ve experienced this kind of thing myself and I understand the benefits.

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I just knowing that, you know, been involved in lots of AVR projects, it’s always kind of a hard sell until people actually get the thing on their head and they actually see it, you know, so describing it is a lot harder than just experiencing it, which is the whole benefit of of applications like these. It seems to me I mean, it’s it’s kind of. It’s kind of ironic to say, but I mean, it seems to me like the whole COGAT situation is sort of sparked a new interest in immersive tech, especially for remote work, to be able to kind of bridge that gap from from, you know, your your stale, you know, stay at home video chat experience to actually trying to get some, you know, some real, real immersive training.

[00:33:36.160]

So you actually sort of get it. Maybe not physical, personal, but you kind of bridge that that gap in in your brain connecting to doing something physically in a different space.

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So I think it’s. I think it’s really exciting to kind of. I mean, especially with applications like yours. I mean, I see the benefit and I’m confident they they are very effective. And I would just hope that, you know, again, not to not to make light of a bad situation, but I think there’s a lot more interest going this way.

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And I’d really like to see it continue. You know, I think you touched on it as well.

[00:34:16.790]

I mean, there’s there’s sort of a slump in the immersive industry just with, I guess, the hardware sort of not really evolving to a certain place where there was a sort of a major giant benchmark. You know, like you said, it’s very, very sort of small scale improvements of things getting better.

[00:34:35.270]

But I don’t I I would really like to see that sort of one of the nature of why I started this podcast is just kind of to push things into the next level of awareness for people, especially on the B2B scale, for people who need training platforms in business level experience and improvement.

[00:34:59.660]

I really think I think there’s some potential here, and I’m kind of excited to see where this goes again, not to make light of a bad situation. But is that your feeling as well? I mean, it it seems like that’s that’s where things are going in kind of bubbling under the surface of at least the people that are talking to me on the side. Are you getting more feedback because of this experience or is it just kind of been a stable progression of of a typical industry?

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Does it make sense? Yeah, no.

[00:35:28.440]

Didn’t I mean, I think it’s interesting for us because we are all sort of messaging was always face to face. Training is certainly the traditional state of the art. The best, whether that’s role play, the self skills training, whether it is learning on the job from an expert. But we always wanted to make that more convenient, more accessible, more data driven with less variability. So I think what’s happened with Cave, it is now people physically can’t be in the same environment, as you say.

[00:36:00.110]

Right. And so it basic forces the hands of lots of these organizations to then refocus that that change strategy and quite quickly adapt. And I mean, we do a lot outside of healthcare for sales teams, marketing teams and things like that. And sales is a really interesting one, because certainly a lot of traditional products require face to face demonstrations. They they require that rapport between either a customer support representative or a sales person to actually get on the ground, meet people to close a B2B sale.

[00:36:38.000]

And this is, in my opinion, one of the ways that a massive tech can can really, really benefit people, you know, at a at a huge consumer level, really say there is some data that was published. I think it come a month or so ago from Shopify around them releasing an augmented reality plug for all of their stores. And that basically improved the purchasing potential of the customer by about things like two hundred forty percent. Which is incredible.

[00:37:11.580]

And that’s a little bit like the I think one of the the early augmented reality apps, which you saw my care where you could try furniture in your home environment and Ray leader and really visualize it. And I think the one of the cool things about Aiyah and VR is that feeling of presence and that feeling of tricking your brain into thinking that something is real. Say, when you see that expensive IKEA bookshelf or that expensive television or whatever it is in your home environment, and you’re able to not only visualize it and connect potentially with the feeling of what it’s like to then have the consumer product.

[00:37:52.940]

But on a practical level, you can also see what it looks like and make sure it fits. That obviously then moves the sales process on in a consumer’s brain. And it’s very similar for B2B sales, whether it is at the beginning of sales training. So ensuring that you you’ll sell the ramp, training you your sales reps is reduced as much that can be such that they get out and they start selling them the stand your product or whether it’s actually getting the customers using the product in a in an immersive environment, which is visualizing it in their own environment, whatever your product might be, is is a really a solid practical application of this type of technology that nothing else can can really do.

[00:38:38.860]

So, you know about some of the things that really kind of excites me around, you know, where we’re moving in the future. And it all kind of goes back to that, the impact and the evidence for the technology because. Going back to your point before around, convincing people an example that I would give just outside of our MVR is telehealth and telemedicine. So if you think about how long people have been using Skype for various video platforms for communication in healthcare, there’s not really been any significant adoption of telehealth, which is always, you know, certainly for my generation and lots of people involved in innovation.

[00:39:22.880]

Somewhat crazy, if you think about it, because there’s lots of people who probably don’t need to come into a hospital or a family doctor’s office for a quick advice, which could best be done just for a video consultation. But that hasn’t really been widely adopted. And one of the reasons is there’s a lot of kind of integration that needs to happen. There’s a lot of people being convinced to change their practices. And for them to convince that it is a benefit.

[00:39:52.980]

And as you said, with virtual reality, even outside VR, just getting people using a type of technology and then understanding how it works, how quick it is, the benefits is the way to basically impact behavior change and say with telemedicine, what we’ve seen a little bit like Zoom’s stocks soaring during this this period. Right. Telehealth providers, similarly, have suddenly found that they’re now being inundated with requests from healthcare providers globally because they’re doctors and nurses can no longer see face to face patients and some in some cases and say that that then has to be forced into that perhaps, and they have to use it to adapt.

[00:40:37.250]

And then once they do use it, they find actually it’s very beneficial for the most part and they will likely continue using it hatefully. Say again, I think, you know, that that is one of the things that this pandemic has meant for technology, certainly learning development, technology, certainly for some parts of health tech as well. That hopefully sticks around for a long time.

[00:41:01.220]

Yeah, I agree.

[00:41:03.740]

Where is it? We’re running short on time, but what is what’s next on the horizon for VIRTI? What do you guys got coming up next?

[00:41:12.440]

So we’re really excited as things start to open back up again and we continue doing some rollouts with some of our big customers in the US and internationally. One of the things we’ve got coming out imminently is actually an e-book slash white paper on the benefits of training in the healthcare sector. And in some other sectors coming out over the next few months as well. And we all say we just launched or relaunched our podcast with a focus on human performance. So lots of exciting stories from people, from training, from schools, from business around how they develop their people and and how they optimize human performance.

[00:41:56.520]

So lots going on, as always. And I will be very excited to get back on it on an aeroplane and get back out to the US and hand me a little of customers again. Having been been trapped in the UK for the last two to three months, I say exactly.

[00:42:14.150]

Let’s hope that changes soon. So if they want to learn more, where can they go?

[00:42:18.710]

So our website is VIRTI.com. We are on twitter, instagram and facebook as well. And the podcast is the Human Performance Podcast on Spotify.

[00:42:39.170]

Very cool. Well, Alex, it’s been great having you on the show. Very insightful. And I really look forward to seeing what comes up next for you guys. I’ll definitely keep keep an eye on things.

So with that said, this is the AR/VR Magazine Podcast and we will talk to you in the next show.

[00:42:59.910]

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Sean Earley is the podcast host and Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine, Modern Musician Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development, PR and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.