The field of Life Science is continuously evolving and requires well-trained professionals who possess the necessary skills and knowledge to operate in a constantly changing environment. With the increasing demand for sustainable education, traditional training methods may no longer suffice. This is where Avatar Academy comes in, providing a cutting-edge vr training platform for life science professionals to train in processes and procedures through immersive, mobile, and hand-tracked virtual reality.
The platform’s origins dates back to 2018 when the team created a VR Training Experience for National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) with oversight from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The experience was a cleanroom training pilot that was presented to pharmaceutical leaders as part of the Biopharma 4.0 alliance. According to James Morton, Industry 4.0 Director at BCG, the team produced a VR Training experience that was seen to be “one of the best user cases for Virtual Reality ever seen”. Check out our Case Study on the Biopharma Alliance project.
One of the best user cases for Virtual Reality ever seen
James Morton, Industry 4.0 Director, BCG
VR Training Platform
Today, Avatar Academy is a virtual reality training platform designed specifically for manufacturing and laboratory staff. The platform uses immersive VR technology to create lifelike simulations of manufacturing processes and laboratory procedures, allowing employees to practise and hone their skills in a safe and controlled environment. The platform also includes advanced analytics and reporting tools that enable employers to track employee progress, identify areas for improvement, and provide targeted training and support.
One of the key advantages of Avatar Academy VR Training Platform is its sustainability. Unlike traditional training methods that often require costly materials and resources, Avatar Academy VR Learning Experience is entirely digital and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that employees can receive training on demand, without the need for travel or physical resources. Boston Scientific, a multinational manufacturer of medical devices started using the VR Training Platform during covid. “Using Avatar Academy, in the space of a day you can run six or seven times the same training process that previously would take four or five weeks” – Tom Quilty, Process Engineering at BSCI. Check our Boston Scientific case study here.
Using Avatar Academy, in the space of a day you can run six or seven times the same training process that previously would take four or five weeks
Tom Quilty, Process Engineering at BSCI
There are also advantages around the learning and retention of information gained by trainees. The platform provides a highly engaging and immersive learning experience that captures the trainee’s attention and motivates them to learn with gamification elements such as achievements and leaderboards to incentivise learning and encourage participation. The platform’s mobile and hand-tracked technology allows trainees to move around freely and interact with the virtual environment, making the learning experience more realistic and memorable.
The VR training platform captures data on user behaviour, providing insight into areas of strength and weakness, and allowing trainers to tailor the training experience to meet individual needs. This level of personalised training ensures that every individual is adequately trained and can perform their tasks efficiently.
The platform can be used for both initial training and ongoing education, ensuring that staff are always up-to-date with the latest procedures and best practices. This feature is particularly important in industries such as manufacturing and laboratories, where the constant evolution of technology and processes necessitates ongoing training and upskilling.
Perhaps most importantly, Avatar Academy provides a serious and realistic training experience that prepares employees for real-world scenarios. The simulations are based on actual manufacturing processes and laboratory procedures, ensuring that employees are trained in the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their jobs safely and efficiently. This leads to increased productivity, reduced errors, and improved overall quality. Trainees entering the industry need more than studying SOPs and reviewing PowerPoint presentations to fully understand why they are performing operations and how to perform them precisely each time. The life sciences sector, which encompasses laboratories and manufacturing facilities, requires a high level of expertise and strict adherence to compliance standards. As a result, training within this industry is vital to ensuring both the quality and safety of products and processes. Virtual reality (VR) training offers a unique and innovative solution to address the challenges faced in the life sciences sector, particularly when it comes to compliance and reducing human errors.
Compliance and Understanding the ‘Why’
Compliance is essential in life sciences, particularly for workers in aseptic labs and cleanrooms. However, training individuals simply to pass compliance checks is not the most effective approach. Rather, it is crucial for trainees to understand the underlying reasons behind these compliance requirements. Virtual reality training can play a significant role in enhancing this understanding by providing an immersive and interactive environment where trainees can experience the consequences of non-compliance in a safe and controlled setting (Gavish et al., 2015). This experiential learning not only helps to reinforce the importance of compliance but also can be used to ensure that trainees understand the rationale behind the rules and regulations they must follow. Avatar Academy’s learning experiences are designed to not only teach trainees the necessary compliance procedures, such as correct gowning procedures and management of airflow in labs, but also to provide a comprehensive understanding of the reasons behind these requirements, ensuring that learners grasp the importance of adhering to compliance standards for the safety and efficacy of the life sciences environment.
When a trainee understands why they are performing a particular operation and how it fits into the overall workflow, they are more likely to retain the information and be able to apply it in future tasks. This is because understanding the underlying concepts and reasoning behind the operation helps to create a more meaningful and memorable learning experience, which in turn facilitates better knowledge retention and application.
Addressing Human Errors and Mistakes
Human errors and mistakes are persistent challenges in the life sciences sector, often leading to costly consequences and delays in production. A new approach to training, utilising virtual reality, can help address these issues by offering a more engaging and realistic training experience. In VR environments, trainees can practise and hone their skills without the risk of real-world consequences, allowing them to learn from their mistakes in a safe environment (Kothgassner et al., 2016). This hands-on experience, coupled with the ability to repeat and refine their actions, significantly reduces the likelihood of errors occurring in real-world situations.
Virtual reality training has the potential to transform the life sciences sector by providing a more effective and engaging training experience. By enhancing understanding of compliance requirements and reducing human errors, VR training can lead to a safer and more productive workforce, ultimately benefiting the industry as a whole.
If you are a Life Science professional or an organisation looking to enhance the skills and knowledge of your staff, consider adopting Avatar Academy. With its immersive, mobile, and hand-tracked virtual reality technology, it provides a unique and personalised learning experience that can help your staff perform their tasks efficiently.
Don’t let your staff fall behind in a constantly evolving industry. Join the revolution of Lifescience education today and provide your staff with the tools they need to succeed. Contact Avatar Academy today to learn more about how our platform can transform your training program.
Gavish, N., Gutiérrez, T., Webel, S., Rodríguez, J., Peveri, M., Bockholt, U., & Tecchia, F. (2015). Evaluating virtual reality and augmented reality training for industrial maintenance and assembly tasks. Interactive Learning Environments, 23(6), 778-798.
Kothgassner, O. D., Goreis, A., Kafka, J. X., Hlavacs, H., Beutl, L., Kryspin-Exner, I., & Felnhofer, A. (2016). Virtual reality exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7(1), 30647.