App developer ‘immersed’ in busting workplace stress
Surviving a "toxic" work environment motivated Edwina Griffin to develop a virtual reality meditation app ready to help medical teams facing the mental stresses of COVID-19.
Now based in Sydney, the former Noosaville wellness expert was involved with healing retreats in Montville before developing her AtOne app.
It tracks heart rate variability and targets stress and burnout in the workplace.
It proved an emotional lifeline for Ms Griffin who has taught stress management techniques to victims who gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Despite her expert coping skills, she eventually collapsed from the crushing pressure encountered at one toxic workplace.
"I was meditating already and I found that just audio meditation wasn't enough to switch off when I was that stressed," Ms Griffin said.
"I just couldn't stop my mind loops," she said.
Ms Griffin began developing her own meditation enhancement with LED lights, music and essential oils to help her "totally zone out".
That led her to try virtual reality headsets which offered users more than 30 real or virtual scenes, including forests and the beach.
AtOne also incorporates voice, music and scent using the Serenascent system developed at the University of Sydney and University of Queensland.
"A lot of the other meditation virtual reality stuff is rewards-based training the mind," Ms Griffin said.
"The point of this is, even you don't think you can meditate, you're going to be going to be sitting in a beach with relaxation music playing - the physiology will shift your mind."
Ms Griffin has now teamed up with Buderim-based Bundle of Rays, which trains healthcare professionals across Australia and Asia.
Bundle of Rays managing director Bradley Chesham implemented AtOne in the office during the pandemic as more staff returned to the office.
He introduced a meditation hour once a week and purchased 10 headsets and AtOne packages for his staff, as well as onselling it with full training to his clients.
"Although Australia currently has a handle on Covid, it's still at the forefront of most people's minds, especially in healthcare, where people are petrified of the virus," Mr Chesham said.
"Bundle of Rays provides international education across continents but as well as offering medics high-end training, we also need to be able to offer them high-end wellness and mindfulness services.
"AtOne is perfect for that."
Ms Griffin is also working with Tennis Australia to trial her app and is also in line to have other major sports test AtOne.