Promoting employee health with Virtual Reality

The high-tech start-up ZREALITY GmbH, Barmer Health Insurance and Schaeffler AG have developed a virtual health room. The companies are the first in Germany to open up Virtual Reality as a new information medium for employees on the subject of health.

Together with the health insurance company Barmer, the company from Herzogenaurach looked for a new channel to open access to training content to all employees. “We were looking for an addition to our online offerings and the Healthcoach to guide employees through exercises at any time and any place. Virtual reality offers the advantage that, for example, you can stand directly next to a virtual trainer and see the correct execution of an exercise – from all sides,” says Ann-Kathrin Otto, Specialist Corporate Health Management at Schaeffler AG.

In addition, the room is designed as a virtual health area that can be continuously expanded with new content. The offer is aimed at employees in both production and administration. “As a health insurance company, it is important to us that we reach as broad a spectrum of target groups as possible so that we can support a new instrument for company health management,” says Anna Hilsberg, specialist in company health management in the partner company sector.” The ZREALITY sphere platform helps us not only to bring a virtual health room onto each device, but also to continuously adapt the content. ZREALITY advised us in the development of the technology and the concept of the room. It was important for us to have a reliable partner at our side who has the technical competence to implement the idea as well as to assist us with questions of content”.

A combination of classic content such as training cards is complemented by virtual training exercises and a VR neck exercise. Using “Motion Capturing”, the exercises of a trainer were recorded and then edited and transferred to prototypical models. In addition, a neck exercise complements the WebVR room. Users have to follow a virtual ball on a track. Using a specially developed technology, the user’s gaze is followed. The time in which the exercise is carried out correctly is then measured.

The room was presented to employees at the Schaeffler Health Days in Herzogenaurach on September 12./13. Within two days, 2000 employees were informed about the topic of “health management”. Using a card board, each Schaeffler employee can experience the VR health room on their own smartphone in 3D. Every Schaeffler employee has access to the virtual offer via the health portal.

Take a tour of the VR experience here.