New VR course bids to train lab technicians and cut COVID testing costs

Credersi and DAM Health’s 3D virtual lab will be also taken into schools and colleges to encourage young people to engage with STEM

A tech incubator and coronavirus testing solutions company have joined forces to create what they claim is the world’s first virtual reality (VR) COVID-19 lab training syllabus.

Besides training laboratory technicians, Credersi and DAM Health’s 3D virtual lab will be taken into schools and colleges in a bid to encourage young people to engage with STEM subjects.

The move follows a warning in June by Andy Lord, CEO of Credersi, that a shortage of trained laboratory technicians could seriously undermine the COVID-19 testing programme.

“There is a huge shortage of skilled lab technicians at the moment, and we aim to address that imbalance by injecting a new army of talented and trained lab technicians,” said Lord of the company’s new initiative.

“COVID-19 testing will be with us for the foreseeable future… understanding and learning about PCR testing and how this works will enable the lab technicians of the future to be better equipped to deal with future viral epidemics and pandemics.”

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The venture’s partner company, DAM Health, boasts more than 65 COVID testing clinics globally, with further expansion expected soon. As well as offering COVID testing solutions to the public, it has also signed contracts to provide its services to Crystal Palace and Rangers football clubs.

Launching in October, the partnership’s remotely accessible eight-week course will blend science, data science, and data analytical programming to help would-be lab techs equip themselves with the skills required by the role.

“COVID-19 has been such a big part of everyone’s lives for the last 18 months, this course will teach and train lab technicians about how PCR tests are processed in the laboratory using the latest technology,” said Credersi co-founder, Darren Coomer.

“The high cost of PCR testing is often driven by a lack of skilled resources, so we hope our collaboration with DAM Health will help support the UK economy and travel industry by reducing the unit cost of testing over time.”

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