LIFE Project Roll-out at Kenya Paediatric Nurses’ Chapter Conference

By Conrad Wanyama

Kenya Paediatric Nurses Chapter (KPNC) is a professional association of neonatal, child and adolescent nurses in Kenya. KPNC holds an annual scientific conference every year in august, bringing together paediatric nursing colleagues and other partners who work with children for networking, learning and professional development. The 2018 KPNC annual scientific conference was held at Gelian Hotel, Machakos County, about 70km East of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi from 22ndto 24thaugust 2018.

LIFE project team (Conrad Wanyama and Naomi Muinga, both based at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi) were at the conference for the roll-out of the LIFE Mobile: Neonatal Resuscitation, a demo of LIFE VR: Neonatal Resuscitation, and beta testing of eHBB, a new low-cost VR module for LIFE that uses Google Cardboard VR headsets.

Activity 1: Plenary Presentation.

Conrad gave an overview of the LIFE project and the educational benefits of mobile-based simulated serious games as a form of learner-centred refresher training that enhances recall of key steps of emergency care. Conference delegates were guided on how to download the app on Google Play Store but were asked not to play the game yet in readiness for the challenge on day 3 of the conference (see below).

Conrad making a LIFE/eHBB presentation during the plenary sessions

Activity 2: LIFE Mobile Challenge

The aim of the LIFE challenge was to give participants an opportunity to achieve meaningful goals by challenging them beyond their comfort zones. This exercise was based on the premise that ‘teaching is a planned experience which brings about a change in behaviour (the learning of a specified material which will result in a specified outcome’ (Pocket guide to teaching for medical educators, by Advanced Life Support Group & Resuscitation Council (UK), 2nded.). We wanted to create a forum where learners desire to judge personal performance against that of others, a form of intrinsic motivation described by Malone and Lepper (1987) as social comparison. Participants played the game in groups of 3-10.

Paediatric nurse delegates during a group LIFE mobile challenge.

Activity 3: Exhibition sessions

We also ran demos at the exhibition site both for LIFE VR (using the VIVE virtual reality headset) and for user testing of a new eHBB VR module to get feedback from the players. LIFE eHBB uses a smartphone and a Google Cardboard.


You can download LIFE Mobile, with the first Neonatal Resuscitation scenario based on ETAT+ guidelines, from the Google Play Store.


LIFE Project at the World Economic Forum 2018 at Davos

The LIFE Project is being demonstrated at the WEF in Davos this week:

HTC VIVE and World Economic Forum Partner For The Future Of The “VR/AR For Impact” Initiative

Today, HTC VIVE announced a partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to drive the VR/AR for Impact initiative forward, and to showcase its latest content at the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Impact Hub at the WEF 2018 in Davos.

Originally launched by HTC at WEF in 2017, VR/AR For Impact is a more than $10 Million program to drive VR and AR content and technologies that will create positive impact and change in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.  In collaboration with a core group of VR/AR leaders and the UN, WEF will drive the “VR/AR for Impact” initiative going forward, and as a core member of the group, HTC Vive will continue to design and create experiences as part of their collaborative, ongoing commitment to foster and champion the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality to educate and empower humanity.

“The challenges our world faces today have never been greater, and humanity needs a clearer understanding and guidance to help solve global issues,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO, HTC. “Unlike any other medium, Virtual Reality is able to immerse the global audience in literally any experience, and can help us learn, empathize and transform the world. VR/AR for Impact is a unique way of driving critical awareness toward problems and solutions facing mankind.”

“We see so much untapped potential with VR/AR to drive positive outcomes for society in areas such as health and education, and we are looking forward to working with leaders in this space to build up this initiative in the coming years,” says Lauren Joseph, leader of the Electronics Industry Program at World Economic Forum.


VR/AR for Impact experiences shown this week at WEF 2018 include:

  • OrthoVR aims to increase the availability of well-fitting prosthetics in low-income countries by using Virtual Reality and 3D rapid prototyping tools to increase the capacity of clinical staff without reducing quality. VR allows current prosthetists and orthosists to leverage their hands-on and embodied skills within a digital environment.
  • The Extraordinary Honey Bee is designed to help deepen our understanding of the honey bee’s struggle and learn what is at stake for humanity due to the dying global population of the honey bee. Told from a bee’s perspective, The Extraordinary Honey Bee harnesses VR to inspire change in the next generation of honey bee conservationists.
  • The Blank Canvas: Hacking Nature is an episodic exploration of the frontiers of bioengineering as taught by the leading researchers within the field. Using advanced scientific visualization techniques, the Blank Canvas will demystify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are being exploited to drive substantial leaps such as gene therapy.
  • LIFE (Life-saving Instruction For Emergencies) is a new mobile and VR platform developed by the University of Oxford that enables all types of health worker to manage medical emergencies. Through the use of personalized simulation training and advanced learning analytics, the LIFE platform offers the potential to dramatically extend access to life-saving knowledge in low-income countries.
  • Tree is a critically acclaimed virtual reality experience to immerse viewers in the tragic fate that befalls a rainforest tree. The experience brings to light the harrowing realities of deforestation, one of the largest contributors to global warming.
  • For the Amazonian Yawanawa, ‘medicine’ has the power to travel you in a vision to a place you have never been. Hushuhu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa, uses VR like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing. AWAVENA is a collaboration between a community and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experience so that a vision can be shared, and a story told of a people ascending from the edge of extinction.

These experiences will be made available for all attendees at the World Economic Forum at the UN’s Sustainable Impact Hub on January 23rd, 2018 on Promenade 72, Davos Platz in Switzerland. Awavena can be experienced in the main congress hall, Portals exhibition.

For more information on VR for Impact visit:

VR in Education Workshop

We’re participating in the VR in Education Workshop below – come along and try out LIFE VR!

Engage Workshop: Virtual Reality in Education

Man wearing VR headset

DATE: Friday 24 Feb, 2017, 14-17
PLACE: IT Services 13 Banbury Rd (Evenlode lecture room)
BOOKING: via the IT Learning Centre

ABOUT THE SESSION: This workshop offers an opportunity to learn about using apps, technologies, and techniques for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for education, research, and public engagement.  The presenters will give examples of what they have done and introduce the technologies and tools they have used. You will then be able to explore the applications and equipment and discuss potential uses in your area.

This session is suitable for anyone with an interest in exploring the use of technology for education.


  • Simon Purins (Age Exchange): Meeting in No Man’s Land. Using LayAR to help school students to produce original and engaging responses to WW1 material. About the project: Download the LayAR app to your smartphone or tablet:
  • Chris Paton (Tropical Medicine): LIFE – a game for saving lives. See
  • Richard Smith (Bodleian Radcliffe Science Library): The libraies’ VR service. Exploring the Gear VR equipment. See
  • Henry Jordan (Experimental Psychology): Using a simulated 3D environment to study how people can anticipate a robot’s movements (using an Oculus DK1).
  • Fridolin Wild (Brookes University): Title TBC


We’ve been demoing LIFE VR at CES this week. Today is the last day to try it out, so please come along at 2pm at the Alsace Ballroom at the Wynn hotel if you would like to try it out for yourself. Here’s our interview from yesterday (we’re on after Dr Oz!):

Press Release: Oxford academics ‘engage’ virtual reality distance learning at CES

HTC Vive and virtual reality distance learning platform Engage to showcase the LIFE project from the University of Oxford. 

Oxford, UK and Las Vegas, US – 4th January 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Engagea virtual reality (VR) education platform capable of giving hands on lessons anywhere in the world – is set to be used to showcase the Life-Saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) project by Oxford University academics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference 2017.

Developed by Immersive Education Ltd, the Engage platform (stylised as “ENGAGE”) uses VR platforms, including the HTC Vive (stylised as “VIVE”), to create interactive virtual classrooms. Each classroom can instruct up to 30 individuals simultaneously and offers avatar interaction, allowing instructors to be able to observe and provide feedback on a student’s work in real-time.

The LIFE Engage demo showcased at CES will be healthcare-focused, showing how the platform can be used to educate healthcare workers in developing countries on infant resuscitation techniques. At present, levels of infant mortality in Africa are so great that 1 in 10 children do not live to see their fifth birthday. Building on a gamified mobile app developed by LIFE, which is receiving business development support from Oxford University Innovation, the LIFE demo on the Engage platform aims to show how the level of emergency care available for infants can be improved through virtual distance learning.

The potential for Engage extends beyond medical training. In conjunction with its virtual reality classroom engagement offering, the Engage team have also developed the Immersive FX presenter system. Immersive FX gives instructors the ability to give virtual, interactive presentations in almost any setting conceivable, such as planetary sciences lessons on the surface of Mars or the sinking of the Titanic from the very deck of the ship.

Dr Chris Paton, Group Head for Global Health Informatics at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and who is presenting the LIFE demo at CES, said:

“A VR version of LIFE has the potential to augment both face-to-face training and the mobile version of the LIFE game. VR allows students in remote areas to connect with trainers in a virtual hospital ward where they can access equipment and practice performing tasks with a virtual instructor.”

Dan O’Brien, Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC Vive, added:

“Education experiences are a critical component to delivering an immersive VR experience and building out the ever-growing Vive ecosystem. We built Vive to deliver the most immersive, room-scale VR experience on the market today. Organisations like Oxford University and Immersive help us meet this vision and we’re excited to see what LIFE Engage offers to the VR experience.”

CES attendees are encouraged to try out the LIFE Engage demo for themselves at the HTC Vive demo area at Wynn’s Alsace Ballroom from 2-3pm on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th.


For more information or to arrange interview, please contact:

CES conference/United States

Dr Chris Paton, Group Head for Global Health Informatics at the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Oxford University

T: +44 (0)7552 698058 | E:

United Kingdom

Gregg Bayes-Brown, Marketing and Communications Manager, Oxford University Innovation

T: +44 (0)1865 280867 | E:

Notes to editors

About University of Oxford Life-Saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) Project

LIFE offers a way to rapidly scale-up access to the most current, locally relevant emergency or health practice guidance – even for isolated health workers.

  • Transfers correct and clinically approved knowledge on new born and childhood emergency care
  • Ensures a player can repeatedly demonstrate the correct cue-response decision sequences when faced with common emergency situations
  • Provides graded levels of difficulty, enabling both low and high-skill players to be challenged
  • Promotes competition between player and device and across players
  • Can be played on low-cost smart-phones
  • Can be linked to accredited professional development schemes
  • Can track accreditation coverage and prompt retraining to ensure knowledge retention

The LIFE team have developed a mobile game that uses a 3D hospital that players can navigate through to play the scenario. The team is also exploring how the system could be delivered through the new HTC Vive virtual reality system.  The same 3D hospital is used but instead of navigating the scenario on a smartphone, the user can enter the hospitals in virtual reality, using a headset connected to a computer.  Users would access this type of system through a local training centre, and continue to play the game and keep their knowledge up-to-date though the smartphone versions of the game.

The LIFE project was funded through OxReach, the University of Oxford’s crowdfunding website, and was one of the 2016 winners of the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. The project is supported by the HTC, The Skoll Foundation, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The LIFE project was made possible with the support of Saving Lives at Birth and its partners, which include: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the UK Government, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). This press release was prepared by the University of Oxford and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Saving Lives at Birth partners.

Twitter: @oxlifeproject


About Vive

Vive (stylised as “VIVE”) is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform developed by HTC and Valve for total immersion in virtual worlds. Designed from the ground up for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions, Vive delivers on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content. Vive has been recognised with over 65 awards and wide critical acclaim since its unveiling in 2015. For more information, visit

About Immersive VR Education

Immersive VR Education Ltd is an Ireland-based company creating a virtual reality (VR) education platform called Engage (stylised as “ENGAGE”) to transform distance learning.

The Engage platform is a type of virtual reality PowerPoint that is networked, recordable and editable by its users. Instead of using images on PowerPoint slides for your presentation, Engage uses 3D assets and environments to totally immerse its users.

Engage enables educators to create their own content, classes and courses so they can teach any student anywhere in the world in a virtual classroom.

Immersive VR Education are working closely with HTC, Oxford University, New Haven University, The Royal College of Surgeons and others to bring immersive content to the Engage platform.

Immersive VR Education also create showcase experiences to promote educational uses of VR. Their most recognized experience to date has been the Apollo 11 VR Experience which has won multiple awards and has proved hugely popular on many platforms including the HTC Vive.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies are going to transform education globally in the coming years and Immersive VR Education is at the forefront of this revolution.

Twitter: @vreducation


About Oxford University Innovation

Oxford University Innovation supports innovation activities across all University Divisions, managing technology transfer and consulting activities, and providing an innovation management service to clients around the world.

We provide access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spinout company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through our Consulting Services team. The New Venture Support & Funding team supports investors or donors with an interest in early-stage ventures, and manages the Oxford Angels Network.

Our Startup Incubator supports members and ex-members of the University who wish to start or grow entrepreneur-driven ventures that are not University spinouts.

Oxford University Innovation is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked 1st in the UK for university spinouts, having created over 140 new companies in 25 years. In the last reported financial year, we completed 529 licenses and consulting agreements. Isis Enterprise, our innovation management consultancy, works with university, government and industrial clients from offices around the world.

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