A startup founded by a team of physiotherapists and engineers has launched a new AI tool to dramatically improve the health and productivity of the remote workforce.
The tool, called VIDA, uses cutting edge “computer-vision AI” to conduct an in-depth assessment of home workers’ ‘office’ set-up – all via their webcam. The tech analyses shoulder positioning, screen-to-eye distance, screen height and lower back support. It also assesses wellbeing factors such as natural light, clutter and the presence of plants.
This data is captured via a user-friendly test that takes less than ten minutes. Once complete, algorithms generate a bespoke report to help each employee create a safer, more comfortable workplace. The report features recommendations to help the user avoid musculoskeletal issues such as bad backs or neck pain (including practical advice on how to change their desk set-up) as well as exercises to improve posture, productivity and wellbeing.
The VIDA tool is designed to replace outdated and labour-intensive workplace assessment methods, and can provide an effective replacement to in-person visits from occupational health teams. Instead, employees receive bespoke advice and guidance on the practical changes they need.
The developers were inspired to build the software after noticing a sharp rise in musculoskeletal complaints amongst new WFH professionals. In the first two weeks of lockdown alone, more than half of respondents to an IES survey reported new aches and pains, especially in the neck (58 per cent), shoulder (56 per cent) and back (55 per cent), compared to their normal physical condition.
VIDA is the latest release from healthtech company Vitrue and it joins their portfolio of AI tools supporting musculoskeletal health. Their other products include AI software that delivers biomechanical assessments for elite sport teams across the UK.
Shane Lowe, co-Founder and CEO at Vitrue Health, says:
“With swathes of the UK workforce opting to permanently pursue ‘hybrid’ remote working, working from home is now the norm. However, it’s essential that long-term home workers understand the risks that a poor physical desk setup could pose to their health. From having your laptop too low, to working with lower back support, the wrong set-ups can create long-term health issues.
“By deploying simple, intelligent tools like VIDA, such risks can be identified and resolved before they have a negative impact.The targeted support provided will not only help to prevent MSK problems, but it will give practical advice on boosting productivity and preventing burnout.
“The VIDA tool is an important part of Vitrue’s mission to democratise access to the latest technology in musculoskeletal healthcare. With online tools like VIDA, anyone can receive personalised health advice without even leaving the house.”
Rachel Brammer, Senior Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead at Vitrue Health, comments:
“As a qualified physiotherapist, I’m hugely excited about the impact that our technology is going to have on improving the physical and mental health of remote workers. Without the right support and expert guidance, it’s incredibly easy to develop aches, pains and serious injuries.
“Our tool puts the latest AI tech into play to help people to make the best choices about their desktop setup. We hope that it will also support employers in providing necessary WFH equipment to their workforce.”
The VIDA technology is already being embraced by businesses across the UK, including Elvie, Next15, and Ohne. Businesses can sign-up for a free trial via https://www.vitrueremote.com/