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What is virtual reality and why are aged care providers embracing it?

Written by : Colin Pudsey on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

If you’ve been looking around at new ways to support your residents, chances are you’ve heard the words “virtual reality” being offered as a new idea. Maybe you’ve even seen pictures of people wearing headsets and waving their arms about.

But what is virtual reality, or VR, and why is it making such an impact in the aged care space?

Immersive beyond belief

Virtual reality is a simulated environment that looks and feels incredibly realistic. A key tool for using VR, is the headset, which allows you to explore this digital space by looking up, down and all around you. Unlike a computer or tablet which has a fixed field view, virtual reality adapts to your head movements to immerse you in a rich 360-degree, 3D environment.

This means that putting on a virtual reality headset feels like stepping into a completely different world. But the big question is, what can you do in this immersive virtual space?

The impossible becomes possible

Anything you can imagine! For the adrenaline seekers, how about skydiving, swimming with dolphins, or racing in an F1 car? For those looking for a calmer escape, maybe chilling out on the beach, exploring a tropical rainforest, or visiting a museum?

The technology is limitless, and it can even allow us to experience things that are impossible – a trip to mars perhaps? Or walking around the interior of the Titanic? VR can make that happen too.

That all sounds fun, but we’re talking about older adults here. Why would care providers be so keen to take their care recipients out of the four walls of a facility (virtually)?

Virtual experiences with clinical benefits

The answer lies in research, and whilst these experiences are certainly fun for all ages – they’re anything but frivolous. 

Virtual reality experiences have been shown to improve the quality of life in older adults. 

Participants in an American study were “less socially isolated… less likely to show signs of depression” and “feeling better about their overall wellbeing”. Another study from Taiwan revealed that VR “can provide older adults with the confidence to get involved in social activities”.

So, it’s clear that VR can have a range of positive impacts on care recipients. But the most exciting benefits of all, are linked to who we are as individuals.

A personal journey

Imagine being able to visit a childhood home, a church you were married in or a place you went on holidays with your family? For those of us born overseas, what about taking a journey back to experience familiar sights and sounds, and reconnect with your culture? Maybe a faith-based pilgrimage or personal spiritual practice?

VR is at its best when it’s partnered with a deep understanding of the individual and what’s important to them and that’s how innovative care providers are getting the most out of VR.

By building upon their strong connections with the individual, carers can deliver meaningful personalized experiences that leverage the power of VR to connect to identity.

For all walks of life

No matter what stage of life an individual is at, virtual reality may provide engagement, excitement, and an opportunity for connection.

Particularly for those of us supporting a loved one with dementia, as VR has been shown to “positively affect the cognitive and physical functioning of those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia”.

And what could be more important for someone living with dementia, than to reconnect them to their true self, their culture, and their loved ones. Now we’re really pushing the dial with “joy”!

Sometimes what’s important isn’t a clinical benefit…

Going beyond the clinical

What is immediately apparent when you try on a VR headset is that it’s like magic. Whilst there may be benefits in wellbeing and cognitive function, it’s an experience to bring wonder, enjoyment, and positive emotions and this can be supercharged when sharing the same experience in a group VR setting.

Any tool that can help bring significant and measurable joy, happiness, and excitement to the life of care recipients is one that’s worth exploring.

Ultimately, that might be the driving factor in the growing use of VR in the aged care space, a growth that’s led by innovative companies.

Changing Lives through Virtual Reality

Melbourne based virtual reality startup, SilVR Adventures, has been taking care of recipients on shared virtual reality experiences since 2019. 

Providing a turnkey VR solution to care providers across Australia and New Zealand, they enable care team members to take people with a variety of needs on immersive, group VR experiences.

Our content focuses on storytelling, emotional journeys and reminiscence therapy. We want to build engaging and inspiring experiences for older adults, no matter what stage of life they’re at.

With the largest library of world tours, spiritual journeys, and bucket list events, we’re experimenting with new ways to engage care recipients. But the real magic happens when the headset comes off.

Creating meaningful connections

The most powerful moments in working with VR are the social connections it stimulates.

“We’ve found that the winning formula is taking people on adventures together. They’ll have an amazing time travelling the world or experiencing something brand new, then the headsets come off and they’re chatting about where they went, where they want to go to next and sharing memories and stories from the past. It’s incredible to watch!”

And it’s clear that aged care providers agree too, with some around Australia establishing weekly ‘Travel Clubs’ to build camaraderie and friendship through shared experience across multiple sites.

We’re super excited to be able to connect up to 40 participants around the world in a shared virtual reality experience, then have them meet in a digital space afterwards like our virtual café and chat about it.

The ability to link people couldn’t have come at a better time with restrictions and lockdowns significantly increasing feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression among our elders.

The future of the technology

Virtual reality has made great strides in the past few years, but it still has an exciting journey ahead. With companies like Facebook and Google making big investments in the space, it’s clear that the technology will continue to grow and develop.

There’s room to grow in the personal care space too, with VR companies pivoting away from residential facilities and beginning to offer services to be used in home care too.

“So far there’s nothing on offer for people in the home, that’s why SilVR Adventures is thrilled to be launching our home care solution in 2021. We’ll be able to support older adults aging in place with enhanced connections and deliver meaningful virtual adventures, in their own home – and that’s something to get excited about.

A rich and incredible virtual world

As we head towards 2023, there is still a lot of uncertainty, but whatever happens it’s clear that we need to find new ways to stay connected and engaged, and that couldn’t be truer for those of us receiving care.

Leading aged care providers around Australia are increasingly turning to the immersive power of VR as a potential tool for reducing isolation, improving wellbeing, and strengthening connections. 

Very soon personal carers in the home will be taking this technology for a spin too.

Watch a video to see how our seniors are enjoying themselves with the new found Virtual reality – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYDr9PAQLMw

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eVTOL Aircraft Market To Enlarge At a Remarkable CAGR Of More Than 21%

Written by : Nisha Naroliya on  Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Aircraft Technology

Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) are some of the latest innovations in the aerospace industry. eVTOL vehicles are electric and function more like a drone

Large omnidirectional fans assist the aircraft move in various directions and even take off vertically. While designs vary between developers, most seem to resemble the drone form. The future of aerospace mobility deliberately relies on electric vertical take-off and landing (or eVTOL). After years of research and development, a new vehicle class is kicking off to emerge. If eVTOL aircraft reach mass adoption, it could change the way of moving people and cargo.

A new market research study by Value Market Research is forecasting that the global eVTOL Aircraft Market will record healthy growth during the time period 2020 and 2027 and will progress at a CAGR of 20%. 

Also, the study projects that the market would accomplish a worldwide valuation of $ 275 million by 2027 with continued opportunities in key enabling technologies, such as aviation-grade batteries, propulsion systems, and electric motors, eVTOL ground infrastructure, and composite materials.

The growing urban population is leading to increasing road traffic congestion in urban areas and is promoting market growth. For instance, according to the United Nations (UN) report, by 2050, about 70% to 80% of the global population is estimated to reside in cities. This has also led to an upsurge in the eVTOLs for air-taxi services. Moreover, air-taxis are intended to meet future demand for regional commutes ranging from 30 miles to 300 miles, thus driving the demand for eVTOLs. With the usage of eVTOLs in the air-taxi services form, aerial travel will be an affordable transport dimension over shorter places.

Along similar lines, the growing need to augment operational efficiency, and to decrease in human intervention for intercity and intracity transportation by means of eVTOLs, are positively influencing the electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft’s market growth.  There are several companies and municipal corporations currently working on eVTOL aircraft manufacturing for air mobility solutions,” remarks a study analyst.

Key players in the market such as Volocopter Gmbh, Joby Aviation, Lilium Gmbh, Ehang Holdings Ltd, Airbus SE, and Boeing Co., and others are trying to establish a foothold in regional and global markets. Their strategies majorly revolve around engaging partnerships with governments, technical service providers, infrastructure developers, and public associations. There is a huge level of product innovation, which has led to intense product competition amongst the market participants. Along similar lines, conventional growth strategies such as mergers, acquisitions, and expansions will continue to shape the competitive structure. 

On these lines: In 2020, Japan’s SkyDrive and German Volocopter were planning to commercialize eVTOL in Japan by 2023.

In the same year, Bell Textron declared that they are partnering with Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation to determine the on-demand air mobility ecosystem growth in Japan via Bell’s Nexus 4EX eVTOL air taxi.

Most searched question

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Happy employees are key to achieving goals

 

Written by Kiran Sidhu on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Great top-down leadership doesn’t end at laying down the groundwork. A good business leader knows that a people-first mindset is key to a company’s growth. It is a fact that staff satisfaction tends to reflect on their productivity and loyalty. And who better to represent your company than a loyal and happy employee?

Business travel today is one aspect of work that is very much changed from how it was pre-2020. It is an area that business leaders must acknowledge has a direct impact on employee happiness. Travel risk and trip preparations call for more energy and closer attention to detail in order to achieve quality business trips. 

But it is not just “how” business travel is done that has changed. Companies are also assessing the “why” and assessing the rationale behind each trip. Business travel is often pitted against video calls though the former is proven unrivaled in forging connections and winning deals. However, paying more attention to the purpose of travel is worth doing to achieve greater employee happiness, less risk and save costs.

Are employees happy to travel for business? 

The novelty of jet setting for work can wane over time – no one likes long layovers, delays and crowded airports. But the bleisure trend shows no sign of slowing. On top of that, people want to deliver their best work and excel in their careers. And research shows that face-to-face meetings and business trips yield better business results. Whether employees like to travel for business comes down to a matter of preference and support. 

This is where business travel management makes all the difference, not just to those traveling but also to employees in human resources, finance, managers, and other roles. Modern travel management empowers employees to choose how they travel within the parameters of the company travel policy. Travel management done right lets employees know they are well protected, trusted and valued. The culture of a company is determined by how people feel at work.

Here’s how modern, technology-driven business travel management keeps employees happy.

Peace of mind with risk & safety tools

Safety is not just about having a policy in place but communicating it well to ensure employees know how they are covered. Employees having peace of mind is invaluable, especially when in a new and unfamiliar environment. Feeling safe during business trips positively impacts confidence and unwittingly equips them to do better work.

 Your company travel policy may cover how employees are taken care of if something goes wrong but using a modern travel management tool ensures you stay proactive in preventing untoward incidents. 

Global disease outbreak? TruTrip’s integration with Riskline, for example, alerts you ahead of time so you can choose your next course of action – whether repatriation, treatment or other support. 

Employees achieve more when admin tasks are fewer

Business travel requires careful planning, budgeting and reporting. When done manually, one business trip creates spillover tasks for human resources, finance, team managers, travel managers, administrative staff and the traveler itself. That’s a lot of time that can be saved through streamlining and automation.

Using a travel management platform frees up your employees’ time, letting them do more of the work they take pride in. No more booking and comparing flights and hotels on different platforms; researching travel requirements; reimbursements and reporting; lengthy back and forth travel approvals and requests, and arcane company travel policy. 

Overall, it sets your company up to do more and better meet your goals.

Empowering employees to make travel choices 

Company travel policies inform employees of budgets and other rules to comply with. But despite the best of intentions, business trip bookings and expenses may sometimes fall outside the confines of travel policy. Using a travel management platform takes away the challenge of implementation. Set up your company travel policy and bookings are automatically compliant. 

Instead of restricting employees to booking with certain hotels and star ratings, smart policy implementation lets them choose travel based on their needs and preferences – whether that is direct or connecting flights, unique accommodation types and other trip extras. Select a travel management partner that gives you extensive travel choices. These minor customisations can go a long way to ensuring business traveler satisfaction. 

Support and service at every stage of your business trip 

A dedicated support team that’s one call, chat, or email away at all times can take the edge off traveling in a high-stress environment. Quality travel management gives you easy, self-service options to make planning business trips a breeze. And at any point, if you need help, having someone to talk to makes for a better overall experience. 

But it is not just pre-trip that support is useful. Employees having access to the right support while on business trips are critical. Things can go wrong when traveling – missing travel documents, injuries, bad hotel experiences and more. Your travel management partner is your dedicated point of contact to help resolve issues for you. 

TruTrip makes business travel enjoyable and safeWith our modern technology and tools, employees can better dedicate their time to organizational growth. There is no better time than now to get started on impactful business travel. To learn more about TruTrip, schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial.

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Evolution of Logistics in India

Written by Ranadeb Ray on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

From the earlier times till today, logistics has become a vital part in the overall work process and because of the members involved in the Logistics department, all the work gets carried out smoothly.

In the beginning from 1950s onwards, there was a huge amount of work force available in this sector and due to India’s massive population, the different industries could expand their own respective businesses with the expansion of the Logistics department. Especially in the Manufacturing processes and in other factories, we could see many people working together on a manual basis and getting the work completed smoothly.

In my earlier organisation, I learned the entire work cycle by interacting with the different team members in the Logistics department. Each individual was assigned a particular task in getting the total work done and each one of them was doing their own part in this overall process. From the Logistics Manager to the Clerk, there were clear instructions and a hierarchy followed by each team member and every morning the entire Logistics department would assemble in the Meeting room and discuss the entire day`s schedule. There was a clear understanding between each team member and by the end of the day; some of these members would not even enter the office again. Another thing which I have observed is that there was no system in place to monitor each team members work done and still, the entire work was completed very smoothly. All the team members had respect for each other, and the senior management trusted them and gave them full freedom in completing the task for the organisation.

Now, in the present day and age, technology is advancing in a rapid state and most of the companies are accepting the new technologies in completing the said work and we are moving from large work forces to including machines in our everyday lives and, by including softwares in our everyday work.

At present, most of the organisations have many systems in place where each member logs in daily and completes the work.

From what I have observed, the work done in the Logistics department includes many team members who are constantly moving around from one place to another. It is not an office sitting job; majority of the team members are on the move throughout the day. Only the Logistics Manger is sitting in the office and updating the team`s daily movements to the senior management. But, if there are meetings to be attended in a client`s office, even the Logistics Manager would be on the move and attend the meetings and find out about the state of the ongoing project work.

In the future going forward 10 years from now, I can clearly see the reduction of the total work force and a huge dependence on the softwares to complete the work and also, the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in doing the same work.

Although, improvement should always be welcome and the country should move forward and bring out better initiatives in completing any work, at some stage, we would miss the interaction and the hustle-bustle between the different colleagues in a particular department.