Perth VR Studio Supports 11,000 Frontline Health Workers with Essential Skills via Groundbreaking Immersive Training


Discover how Western Health leveraged cutting-edge performance capture technology, VR and immersive training to achieve a high level of fidelity desperately needed for frontline health workers people skills training.

Frontline hospital workers are facing a crisis. According to WorkSafe Victoria , up to 95% of healthcare professionals have experienced verbal or physical assault at work.

This was a primary concern for Western Health , who employ over 11,000 staff across 4 acute public hospitals and 6 health centres in one of the fastest growing and most diverse regions in Australia.

A self-reflective approach to occupational violence and aggression (OVA) training is crucial in helping practitioners understand how their internal and external responses can be ‘reframed’ to help de-escalate potentially dangerous altercations and provide a better quality of care.


The solution: Pioneering a highly-advanced method of immersive learning through virtual reality

The OVA training and education team at Western Health recognised that many of the concepts that make up their curriculum required a depth of nuanced understanding from their students that was tricky to communicate via traditional teaching methods.

This led the team to look to VR simulation as a possible solution to help bridge the gap between abstract knowledge and hands-on training.

Western Health enlisted Viewport XR to help design, develop and deploy ‘Reframe Your Response’, a groundbreaking new simulator-based VR training software which:

  • Immerses trainees in faithfully recreated and hyper-realistic hospital scenarios.
  • Combines theory with practical application, allowing trainees to put their understanding of best OVA practices to the test in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Provides an insight into the perspectives of both staff members and patients during moments of escalated tensions and heightened emotions.
  • Uses a dynamic dialogue tree system and lifelike motion-captured character performances to demonstrate the power of reframing your response in positively impacting aggressive interactions and ensuring a safer outcome for all.
Immersive Training

Assembling the tools for an unprecedented collaboration

Viewport’s modus operandi is one of close collaboration and knowledge sharing with our clients to guarantee that the final product aligns with their vision and is fit-for-purpose according to their unique organisational needs.

It was therefore of the utmost importance that an emphasis be placed on working with Western Health to continuously understand and apply the intricacies of their OVA de-escalation training practices.

This is crucial, not just for subject matter accuracy, but to also ensure that frontline trainees are able to learn and interact with the content on a deeper level than if they were to simply attend a role-play tutorial.

This collaborative relationship went so far as to involve the core OVA training team in numerous narrative writing sessions, table read discussions with the cast and even as on-set script consultants. This ensured that every nuanced detail, down to the tone of a spoken line and a particular eye movement, was captured in the actors’ performances and remained true-to-life.

“Prior to this, reaching that level of realism in a character was something that only Hollywood studios were achieving.” Julius Jeppe, Managing Director/CEO, Viewport XR

In addition to the opportunity to work alongside esteemed healthcare and workplace safety industry professionals, production on ‘Reframe Your Response’ was fueled by the desire and hunger to leverage two key rapidly-advancing technologies: motion capture and high-fidelity, hyper-realistic character avatars.

A crack in-house team of specialist 3D character animators, digital artists and software engineers devised and utilised a bespoke tech stack comprising of a Rokoko motion and face capture suite, Epic Games‘ MetaHuman Realistic Person Creator and Unreal Engine to help breathe life into the characters and instill a sense of grounded realism into the world that they inhabit.

With Western Health’s guidance, a dynamic system of interactivity was implemented that engages the user by demonstrating how these characters react to both subtle and overt variations in their internal and external responses, as well the effect these decisions have on the outcome of a potentially hazardous workplace situation.

Frontline, Health Workers

The result: A dynamic and realistic VR empathy training simulator - a new technological standard in the healthcare industry

The culmination of this work is an innovative step-forward in frontline worker training that provides a safe, consistent and efficient means for them to practise essential communications skills in preparation for the field.

Healthcare employees are now able to learn the curriculum in minutes rather than days and can more easily absorb critical higher-level concepts such as ‘self-talk’ via the immersive learning experience.

The feedback for ‘Reframe Your Response’ from Western Health has been very positive, with some emergency department staff commenting that the ‘patient’s perspective’ module has enlightened them on how the demeanour, vernacular and body language used by nurses can significantly affect the experiences of patients, as well as the important role that empathy plays when it comes to administering care.

Working on this software has been an enriching and eye-opening experience for the team at Viewport. We are excited at the further possibilities of harnessing the potential of immersive learning to train and educate frontline workers of all industries.

“Viewport has done an amazing job at making it so real, so believable…Viewport is just taking it to a whole different level. It's amazing!” Elisa Ilarda, Operations Manager/Project Lead, Western Health