October 29, 2020 – SimX, a provider of virtual reality simulations for healthcare, has today announced an expanded partnership with the US Air Force (USAF) to develop operational medical training systems through the company’s SimX VR medical simulation platform.
The new USD $1 million Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) program builds on existing collaborative efforts between SimX and innovators within the USAF, and will build on the SimX VR military simulation training capabilities already deployed within the Department of Defense (DoD), according to the company.
SimX stated that through recognizing an urgent need for education and training to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, the program will also allow for military adaptation of SimX cases focused on the evaluation and management of COVID-19. Currently, the civilian version of the cases can be downloaded and used free of charge by any hospital or training program with Oculus Quest or HTC Vive devices and can be found at the SimX COVID-19 Training Cases featured page. A demo of the scenario case can be seen below:
The project was made possible through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct to Phase II program, in collaboration with AFWERX, a team of innovation specialists within the USAF, and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 20.R, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.
SimX’s Chief Technology Officer, Karthik Sarma, is the Principal Investigator for the program, and will coordinate efforts with USAF Col. John R. Dorsch, DO, Wing Surgeon of the 24th Special Operations Wing (SOW), and USAF Pararescue Medical Director. Col. Dorsch commented: “The VALOR program will increase overall medical capability and improve survival rates in US, Coalition, and partner force combat casualties,” adding, “These capabilities are critical for ensuring that the highest level of combat trauma and austere medical care are provided by the 24th SOW’s special operations ground forces.”
SimX states that its VR medical simulation platform is used around the world by institutions including Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, the US Air Force, and others. It allows trainees to work together in multiplayer VR scenarios either in the same physical space or remotely from their own homes, where they can talk and interact with virtual patients and benefit from the system’s “holodeck-like” experience. Furthermore the scalable SimX Scenario System allows for rapid development of new training materials and cases, and instant deployment to all learners, according to the company.
For more information on SimX and its virtual reality medical simulation offering, please visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: SimX / YouTube